After many reports, rumors and speculations over the past several months, online music streaming service Pandora has finally announced its entry into the highly competitive world of on-demand music playback. Pandora Premium, which is expected to be launched early next year, will allow subscribers to listen to ‘millions of songs’, and will cost $10 per month. The company currently offers an ad-supported free version, along with Pandora Plus that costs $4.99 per month for each user. The newly-announced Pandora Premium is expected to compete with the likes of Apple Music and Spotify, and come with all the bells and whistles offered by the incumbents. The service is expected to offer a long list of features, including ad-free streaming, the ability to save music offline and the ability to add similar songs to a playlist at the tap of a button.
Pandora Premium reportedly also comes with a ‘personalized search’ feature, which will apparently suggest different songs to different users based on their listening history. The same applies for the ‘Browse’ section and the ‘New Release’ section, both of which will give users personalized and specially-curated suggestions based on their listening habits. While the default home screen for Pandora Premium will look fairly similar to how it looks now, the ‘Now Playing’ screen has been redesigned with a background that will apparently change color based on the album artwork. The familiar thumbs up and thumbs down icons will also reportedly remain untouched, so it looks like long-time users shouldn’t have too much of an issue navigating within the app.
Pandora, of course, is a music streaming service operated by Pandora Media Inc. and powered by the Music Genome project. The company was originally founded back in January 2000 as Savage Beast Technologies in Oakland, California, and has since gone on to become one of the most recognized names in the industry. The company last year bought fellow internet radio company Rdio for a reported all-cash deal of $75 million after the popular streaming service filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2015. Pandora’s free service is reportedly used by nearly 80 million users worldwide, so it will be interesting to see how many of them will subscribe to the new premium service in the months to come.