Pandora Premium poses new challenge to Apple Music


Pandora is finally catching up.
Pandora is finally catching up.
Photo: Pandora

In an effort to keep up with rival streaming services like Apple Music, Pandora is finally giving users the ability to choose the music they want to listen to with a Pandora Premium subscription priced at $9.99 a month.

Do we really need another music streaming service? Definitely not. But if you’re a long-time Pandora user who’s already accustomed to the service, then the ability to play any track or album you want to listen to for a small monthly fee seems very appealing.

Pandora Premium combines the personalized radio stations you’ve already been enjoying with millions of tracks you can play whenever you want. You can curate your own music playlists with “an ease of use unmatched by any other service,” and browse personalized suggestions.

Pandora also makes it easy to fill your playlists with its “Add Similar Songs” button. Once you’ve picked a couple of tracks yourself, Pandora’s Music Genome Project will do the rest by adding similar music it thinks you will enjoy.

You will also find all the songs you’ve thumbed up in the “My Thumbs Up” playlist, and the latest releases categorized by genre. And yes, Pandora is also offering an offline mode that lets you download tracks that can be enjoyed without a data connection.

“Every day tens of millions of people trust us to choose the exact right songs for them. That’s why they spend more time with Pandora than any other music service,” said Tim Westergren, founder and CEO of Pandora.

“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.”

If you’re already a Pandora Plus subscriber, you’ll get six months of Pandora Premium at no extra charge. Free trials will also be available to “select listeners” beginning March 15, with the ability to upgrade for all listeners arriving in the coming weeks.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.