Pandora is making moves to remain competitive in the music streaming business, now with the release of a revamped subscription service. Pandora Plus, launched on September 15, is designed to promote a more simple, yet innovative listening experience. The new subscription service builds off the former Pandora One, bearing a new name and wielding increased functionality.
For a fee of $5-per-month, users of Pandora Plus benefit from an ad-free listening experience and are allowed unlimited skips and replays. The new service has also increased the streaming site’s user-friendliness, offering an “ingenious solution for offline listening that elegantly handles issues with lost connectivity and cellular data usage.”
“For example,” said Chris Phillips, chief product officer at Pandora,”our new predictive offline mode automatically detects when you lose signal and switches to one of your top stations that Pandora knows you love. No effort required. It just keeps playing.”
Pandora is one of the world’s largest streaming devices, second only to Spotify. More than 77 million listeners use the product. However, fewer than 4 million of those listeners pay the fee for advanced services. Compare that with Spotify, who recently hit 40 million paid subscribers, with a going rate of $10-per-month. The aspiration is that Pandora will attract a higher volume of paid subscribers by improving their subscription service. In August, Pandora added access to non-music options, such as podcasts and comedy. The addition of these features hoped to diversify the subscription base and increase traffic.
These moves will help Pandora stay competitive, but their approach is different than other streaming devices. “We’re methodically and passionately developing the world’s most personal music experience,” said Tim Westergren, founder and CEO at Pandora. “And that includes flexibility in how you listen and what you pay for it. Whether a listener wants to take advantage of our enhanced ad-supported experience, our groundbreaking subscription radio service, or our fully interactive on-demand option coming later this year, we have a solution tailored for you at a price point you can afford.”
For current subscribers of Pandora One, Pandora has assured that customers will experience no difficulty during the transition. The service will be completely available on Android and IOS devices in the coming months.