[UPDATED] Pandora (NYSE: P) announced today that its $9.99 Spotify-like on-demand streaming tier, Pandora Premium, will launch this week. Invites for a free trial will be sent to select users this Wednesday; and an option to upgrade will be available to all listeners over the coming weeks.
Rolling out this Wednesday, Pandora Premium combines the music streamer's existing personalized radio-like service with the ability to search and play any track or album, alongside special playlist features tailored to their personal preferences.
“With Premium, we’re leveraging our immense trove of data and everything we’ve learned about personalization to offer a listening experience that sets a new standard for what a music service should be,” said Tim Westergren, founder and CEO of Pandora.
No Desktop Access At Launch
While it will launch on iOS and Android phones, Google Chromecast, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, desktop access to Pandora Premium will not be available until months later. That effectively shuts out millions of Pandora users who access the service during work hours.
Current Pandora listeners who start a trial for the $9.99 per month service will see their stations and thumbed up songs and “Now Playing,” which pulls a signature color from the album art and changes as each track plays.
- Playlists, not worklists: Start a playlist with one or two songs of your choice, tap “Add Similar Songs” and Pandora’s Music Genome Project will create a playlist for any activity, mood or party.
- All your thumbs up: Every song that has been thumbed up on Pandora is available in a “My Thumbs Up” playlist. Thumb up a few tracks on any Pandora radio station and Premium will automatically create a new playlist.
- New music for you... and only you: Browse is stocked with personalized suggestions for the latest releases from your favorites and artists like them.
- Offline mode: Download albums, songs stations or playlists.
- Search that knows you: Pandora’s team of curators, music analysts and data scientists have worked to eliminate covers, karaoke versions or tribute tracks from search results.
Existing Pandora Plus subscribers will get six months of Premium for no additional charge. Trial lengths for existing Pandora ad-supported listeners and those new to Pandora vary.