The music streaming market is full of hot competition. The likes of Spotify and Apple Music dominate the market, while others such as Deezer and Tidal compete for market share and extra subscribers. Pandora, on the other hand, currently doesn't compete in the market, but has confirmed that its plans for a streaming music service are well under way and may be much closer than originally thought.
The online radio service has announced that it has signed licensing deals with Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Merlin Network, all in the hope of increasing the number of tracks it has on offer so that it can attract customers and compete with the huge catalogues that Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer boast. With the announcement of these deals, the only major label left to sign on for the service is the Warner Music Group. The way Pandora wants to distinguish itself from the rest is not through its music catalogue but through its pricing structure. The online service plans on expanding its current $5-a-month Pandora One subscription by increasing the amount of skips allowed per hour from six and will also allow users to store their playlists online, as well as removing ads and skip songs on radio streams. Without a doubt, though, the pricing of this package is the more enticing part of the deal and is what's likely to pull in customers.
As well as their $5 service, the company also plans on offering a more conventional $10-a-month service that will be similar to mainstream services: a catalog of songs available on-demand with zero restrictions or ads. The only thing that is unsure for now is whether the company will decide to launch the service without Warner Music being on board and risk not having the likes of Bruno Mars or Ed Sheeran in the catalogue, or if they will opt to wait until a deal is finalized.
Currently, Pandora has a lot of potential when it comes to competing in the streaming market thanks to its user base which currently includes over 78 million users and claims that they provide twice the engagement than users of competing services. If just 10% of these subscribers switched to one of Pandora's paid streaming packages, it would push the company into third position behind Apple Music and Spotify and possibly give both services a run for their money. A specific launch date has not been provided by Pandora but the company has confirmed that it will be launching the service soon.