Pandora announced today it will release a new tier of its service, Pandora Premium. The new addition will mix its ability to personalize radio, the search functionality it uses to search and play songs or albums and a playlist feature that caters to the user's personal experience. Pandora has a sign-up process for a free trial of its premium service and will come to select users on March 15 and all listeners will have the option to subscribe to it over the next few weeks. The new service will run $10/month.
Pandora Premium will have a few new features for subscribers to make the listening experience more pleasant and easy. First, you can start a new playlist with a couple songs and tap "Add Similar Songs" and Pandora will create a playlist for all activities, moods and even parties. The company has also made the thumbs up count more, as you thumbs up any song it is automatically added to a new playlist of all these songs. The search is better curated to what you really want to listen to, not just cover tracks and karaoke versions. Its Browse feature is now full of personalized suggestions from current favorites and possible future favorites no matter the genre. Lastly, it comes with everyone's favorite feature, Offline Mode, so you can now download albums, songs or playlist and take them on the go.
The announcement comes just months after the company launched Pandora Plus for $5/month which gave subscribers more skips, fewer timeouts and most importantly, ad-free listening. The company's Plus and Premium subscriptions are designed to stay competitive with other like services such as Spotify and Soundcloud, who just released its own $10/month model at the end of last month. Pandora CEO Tim Westergren said the company is leveraging its data and lessons learned about personalized radio to set a new standard for music services and that its what its over 10 million listeners expect of us. Existing Plus subscribers will enjoy six months of Premium for free while current ad-supported listeners trial periods will vary. It will be available on Android, iOS as well as Chromecast, Android Auto and Apple Car Play. However, desktop and other platforms will available at a later date.