Pandora was a pioneer in the streaming music world with its radio station based service that tailors to the user’s taste in music the more you use it. Now, almost a year after acquiring the now defunct streaming service Rdio, the company is ready to rival on-demand music services like Spotify and Apple Music.
The new tier is called Pandora Premium, and like competing services it will offer an extensive library featuring millions of songs available on-demand, ad-free streaming, as well as the ability to save your music offline with a subscription expected to cost $9.99 per month. The company says it has filtered its catalog to remove the “karaoke tracks, knock-off covers and pet sounds…that slow down other services.”
The company’s strength has always been in personalization so as you’d expect Pandora Premium will build upon this, leveraging several years of users’ listening history and likes to make suggestions of new artists, albums and songs they may like to hear. Even your search results will be customized based on what Pandora knows about your taste in music, while there’s also a smart playlists feature that will automatically suggest similar songs to those you’ve added to your playlist.
The thumbs up and down icons are still there and every time you thumbs-up a song, it gets added to an automatically-generated playlist. One feature that has been ported over from Rdio is AutoPlay, which will create a radio station based on the album or playlist you were listening to, so the music continues even when you’ve reached the end of either the playlist or album.
Pandora is gradually rolling out the new Premium tier on iOS and Android. Existing users of Pandora’s free service will be able to test out Pandora Premium free for two-months, with invites to the trial beginning to roll out on March 15th, while non-Pandora users can sign up for an invite here.