Pandora goes after on-demand streaming to compete against Spotify

If licensing deals pan out, the internet radio service could start offering paid streaming as early as next month.

Pandora is aiming to expand its territory in the music streaming wars.

The internet radio service is set to start offering two paid subscription tiers as early as next month, according to The Wall Street Journal. These tiers for on-demand streaming would complement Pandora’s free radio stations and make the company better suited to rival Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and other music services.

Similar to those services, Pandora’s on-demand subscription will cost $10 a month. Pandora’s second paid subscription offering will be an upgraded version of its no-ads radio service, Pandora One, which will give listeners the chance to skip more songs and enable offline listening. Pandora One is currently $5 a month, and the price is set to remain the same after the added features.

The launch of these new added streaming tiers is dependent on Pandora closing the licensing deals required with the major record deals, which would expand Pandora’s offerings from 2 million songs to about 30 million. Once finalized, these deals will allow Pandora streaming in the U.S. and abroad, suggesting the company is also looking towards international expansion. Currently, Pandora only operates in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

According to the WSJ, one major point of contention for the record labels is that Pandora, like Spotify, will have paid tiers as well as an ad-supported free service, which is less lucrative for the music industry. The record labels are in essence giving Pandora permission to stream their entire catalogues all over the world, but have no control over which songs are put on the free radio. Spotify’s free tiers have also been criticized, most famously by Taylor Swift.

This is the first time that Pandora has had to negotiate with the music industry to ink these licensing deals. Previously, Pandora’s free radio did not require permission from the labels because listeners could not select songs on-demand.

Why this matters: Even though the music streaming wars have gotten more competitive since the launch of Apple Music, Pandora does have a few advantages. For starters, over 80 million people listen to Pandora-powered radio stations every month. This gives the company a solid user base to try to convert into paid subscribers. In addition, Pandora is offering a $5-a-month plan that gives listeners a halfway point, price-wise, to the $10-a-month plans that are offered by the rest of the streaming services.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Pandora

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Oscar Raymundo

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?