Android/iOS: Pandora announced Pandora Premium today, the long awaited music subscription service from the streaming radio giant. Like Spotify, Google Play Music and Apple Music, Pandora Premium is $US10 ($13) a month, features thousands of streaming songs, and works pretty much the same as all the other services you’re already using.
At a glance, Pandora Premium works similarly to other streaming services. Search for an album or artist, tap play, and you’re streaming an album. Pandora Premium will launch with an offline mode, playlists, and mobile apps. For its part, Pandora Premium banks on Pandora’s radio algorithm to dish out smarter playlists. Add a song or two to a playlist, and Pandora builds the rest of the playlist on its own, ensuring the music never stops. The same goes for any songs you thumb up in a playlist, which essentially means the old Pandora radio you’ve known for years is jammed inside of Pandora Premium. That same technology that helps automatically generate playlists will also be used to filter through search results, helpfully pushing tribute songs, karaoke versions, and covers down on the results page.
If there’s one thing that truly sets Pandora apart from its rivals, it’s the slick design. Pandora purchased Rdio back in 2015, and while Rdio was feature-barren compared to its biggest rival at the time, Spotify, it had the devotion of its users because the app was well designed. The same follows suit here. Pandora Premium looks and works a lot like Rdio, and longtime fans will be at home with Pandora Premium right away.
Pandora Premium is launching over the coming weeks using an invitation system to start, with a free trial period baked in. Pandora Plus members (that’s the ad-free radio tier) will get free access to Premium for six months. The service is launching on Android and iOS first, with a web app on the way down the line.