Pandora Premium is rolling out this week! Here's what you need to know.
Pandora's been in the music-streaming game for quite some time, but when you think of music streaming services you're more likely to think of Apple Music or Spotify or — dare I say — Tidal. That could change if Pandora Premium, the company's new subscription music service, takes off.
Pandora Premium is rolling out this week, so here's a quick run-down of what it is and what you can expect!
Pandora Premium … how is it different from Pandora?
Pandora was built around the concept of a radio station powered by the company's Music Genome Project. With regular ol' Pandora, you choose a specific artist/song/album/etc. and Pandora takes that information coupled with its music-listening data to make a randomly generated radio station that plays music inspired by your choice. Instead of listening all the way through an album or only listening to songs from a specific artist, you're getting — just like a radio station — songs from many artists. Put another way, you don't control the music — Pandora does.
A subscription music streaming service lets you control the music. Pandora Premium will work the same way.
OK, gotcha. So how much does it cost?
Pandora Premium will cost $9.99 a month, which is the same price as both Apple Music and Spotify.
Not bad. Where can I use it?
Pandora Premium will be available on iOS and Android to kick things off, but the company says it'll be bringing the service to the desktop web soon.
What makes it different from other music streaming services?
Pandora says its Music Genome Project (that trove of data on listener habits we mentioned before) will set this service apart from the competition. The best way to explain how it'll factor in is with examples, so here are a few from Pandora's announcement post:
Pandora Premium can build an ongoing, never-ending playlist with just a few songs as input.
In Pandora Premium, start a playlist with one or two songs of your choice, tap "Add Similar Songs" and put the power of our Music Genome Project to work to quickly and effortlessly create the perfect playlist for any activity, mood or party.
If you're a Pandora listener with years of Thumbs Ups (with Pandora you hit a thumbs up on music you like and a thumbs down on music you don't), you'll be able to access a playlist with all the music you've thumbed up.
Finding new music is going to be easy, fast, and personalized:
Everything in Browse — your home for new music — is tailored to you every week. Unlike other services that just surface the most obvious popular content, if you listen to a specific genre like hip hop or jazz, you are going to see the latest releases in those specific genres here.
We've filtered out karaoke tracks, knock-off covers and pet sounds (but not Pet Sounds) that slow down other services. You get fast, accurate search results that get even smarter over time.
Listening to music offline will require less management:
Our predictive offline feature … automatically downloads your top stations and switches you to one of them when you lose a signal.
Music listening won't stop unless you tell it to (coming soon):
Very soon, we'll add a bunch more to Pandora Premium. This includes AutoPlay, which picks up right where your song, album or playlist ends to ensure the music never ends unless you hit pause.
Cool, cool. So when can I get it?
If you're already a Pandora user (Pandora or Pandora Plus), you should see roll-out happening this week. If you're not a Pandora user, you're going to have to wait until next month. You can add your email to the invite list at this link.
If you've any further questions, leave 'em in the comments below! We just might be able to answer 'em.