Published: Thu, March 16, 2017
Markets | By Lucia Cruz

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

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

Existing Pandora Plus subscribers will enjoy six months of Premium for no additional charge.

These updates come after SoundCloud released a SoundCloud Go last month giving users access to more songs.

The on-demand platform, Pandora Premium, will put the Oakland, Calif., music streaming operator in direct competition with market leader Spotify as well as Apple (AAPL) Music, Amazon (AMZN) Music, Alphabet's (GOOGL) YouTube and Jay-Z's Tidal. Users can start a playlist with just a song or two and tap "Add Similar Songs".

But the question is, will people actually make the transition to a new platform?

To be successful, Pandora Premium will need to differentiate itself from competing services that offer largely the same music catalogs at the same price of $9.99 a month.

For starters, if you're already a Pandora user, the Premium service will take all the songs you've ever given a thumbs-up to and intelligently create playlists out of them.

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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. Wedbush believes that the vast majority of Pandora Plus subscribers (over 4 million) will trade up to the higher-priced on-demand service over time.

"We look at the subscription (music) space and think we're kind of in the first-generation of products right now - it's essentially 30 million songs and a search box", Westergren said.

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. "With Premium, we're leveraging our huge 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".

Pandora has, for nearly 20 years now, been offering internet users a personalized radio station they influence by giving songs a thumbs-up or a thumbs-downThis Smart Trick Keeps Your Pandora Stations Fresh This Smart Trick Keeps Your Pandora Stations Fresh Pandora is a great music service, but sometimes your stations get a little stale. Trial lengths for existing Pandora ad-supported listeners and those new to Pandora vary. Premium will be available this week on iOS and Android phones, Google Chromecast, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and in many cars. Most of the other perks have to do with Pandora catering to your likes. Premium will come to desktop computers and other devices in the coming months, the company says.

My Thumbs Up playlists.

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