Apple Music Competitor ‘Pandora Premium’ Launching This Week With Invite-Only Access

Pandora's own entry into the streaming music market, called Pandora Premium, is officially launching this week to a select group of invitees who sign up for a chance to gain access on the company's website. Pandora Premium is the result of the company's acquisition of "key assets" and employees from Rdio back in 2015. Late last year, Pandora finally detailed what its new Premium service would look like at a special event.

Unlike in the base Pandora app, Pandora Premium allows its subscribers full, on-demand control of what they listen to thanks to the inclusion of playlists and a personalized search feature, which surfaces unique items based on each user's own listening history instead of what's most popular at the time. The service includes learning algorithms that can auto-fill playlists after adding a few songs to match the previous tracks' genre of music.

Image via Engadget

Users will also be able to download songs to listen offline, browse content they've previously thumbed up, and view Pandora Premium's Browse section to see curated artists aimed specifically at their own music tastes. Those with Pandora Plus will get six months of Pandora Premium for free, and following the small launch of invite-only users, Pandora Premium will open up for all users in the next few weeks.
Playlists, not worklists: Start a playlist with one or two songs of your choice, tap “Add Similar Songs” and put the power of Pandora’s Music Genome Project to work to create the perfect playlist for any activity, mood or party.
All your thumbs up: Every song you’ve thumbed up on Pandora is immediately available in your “My Thumbs Up” playlist. Thumb up a few tracks on any Pandora radio station and Premium will automatically create a new playlist of these songs too.
New music for you… and only you: Browse is stocked with personalized suggestions for the latest releases from current and soon-to-be favorites whether you listen to classical, metal, jazz, hip hop, country, and everything in between.
Offline mode: Download albums, songs stations or playlists you want and bring an end to those moments of deafening silence when you lose a signal.
Search that knows you: Pandora’s team of curators, music analysts and data scientists have sifted through tens of millions of tracks to help you quickly find what you really want. No more wading through covers, karaoke versions or tribute tracks to get to your favorite tune.
A few members of the press have had the chance to use Pandora Premium and shared their thoughts online today. Wired said that the new service offers features expected of modern paid streaming services, but "there’s really no reason for a Spotify or Apple Music user to switch to Pandora Premium." In an interview with The Verge, Pandora CEO Tim Westergren said that he wants Pandora Premium to be the number one streaming service -- above Spotify and Apple Music -- within five years.
“We have very grand ambitions for what this can be,” Westergren said. “If we look around at the space right now, we just don’t think that there’s a product that’s done it right. No one has solved the ease of use and personalization part of the on-demand world. I don’t think there’s really a true premium product out there yet… we think we’re bringing something really different here.”
In an update last December, Apple Music topped 20 million subscribers after 18 months on the market. Apple's and Pandora's rival, Spotify, announced that it reached 50 million paid subscribers earlier this month.

To get on the invite list for Pandora Premium's free trial, visit the company's website here. Invites will be sent out on March 15.


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Pandora Previews Apple Music and Spotify Competitor ‘Premium’

Pandora previewed its long-awaited Apple Music and Spotify competitor today at a special event with select publications. The new service is called Pandora Premium, and will launch in early 2017 with a likely price of $9.99 per month, reports Engadget.

pandorapremium
The new app offers on-demand access to a large music library and looks a lot like Rdio. In November, Pandora announced that it had acquired "key assets" and employees from Rdio. Like other services, Pandora Premium will also allow users to save music offline and experience ad-free listening, reports The Verge.

Pandora CEO Tim Westergen thinks the company has created the "first truly premium music service." For Pandora, a premium music service means a personal music service, and the company hopes to leverage its trove of listening data and the Music Genome Project to offer each customer a personalized music service.

For instance, Pandora Premium features personalized search, which means each user will get different music results based on their listening history rather than overall popularity. The browse and new release sections of the app will also be personalized based on user taste. Smart playlists will allow users to easily add new songs with a touch of a button, and in some cases Pandora will automatically add songs for you.

The app will also change color based on the album artwork of the song you're currently listening to, and every song you like will be added to a giant playlist made up of every song you've ever liked on Pandora. When a user has reached the end of a playlist or album, Pandora Premium will offer a radio station based on the finished playlist or album to keep the music going.

Overall, Engadget notes that the new service marries Rdio's interface and features with Pandora's extensive music knowledge. Pandora says the service will begin rolling out in the first quarter of 2017, but won't commit to whether the service will cost $9.99 like similar music streaming services.

Pandora Premium gives Pandora three music offerings at different price points: the basic, ad-supported radio streaming service, the $4.99 per month Pandora Plus, an ad-free streaming service, and the on-demand newly announced Pandora Premium.


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