Pandora Plus brings unlimited skips, offline playback rolling out for $4.99 per month

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Pandora Radio was one of the first companies to popularize internet music streaming when it was founded back in 2000. Its algorithms allowed for “smart radio stations” that grew with time and got better and more accurate to the users tastes based on their input of the songs played. But with the successes of companies such as Spotify and the recent Apple Music, Pandora has struggled a bit to keep up with the rise of more on-demand music listening. With the just announced release of Pandora Plus, however, the company is bringing in new features that give users more control over what they listen to and how they do it.

Join us after the break for the details!

Pandora Plus is a revamped version of Pandora’s old paid tier, Pandora One, and will come in at the same price of $4.99 per month. While Pandora One removed ads from playback and gave the user a higher number of song skips, Pandora Plus now provides unlimited skipping and song replay. Also coming to subscribers of Pandora Plus is offline playback that will allow the music to continue even when your network connection slows or gets dropped. We should note that this doesn’t sound like you will be able to download or set a radio station as “offline” for advanced playback; this is a new algorithm to make sure the current station does not get interrupted.

The free tier is also getting a bump in features with an increased number of skips and replays if the user agrees to see a video ad. It’s unclear at this time exactly how many more skips you will get per video ad, but it’s a nice feature to see either way. With Pandora Plus starting to roll out now (with support for Android and iOS users in the “coming months”), it’s clear that the company is committed to maintaining it’s place as an internet radio service, rather than try to take Spotify or Apple Music head on with more manual controls, playlists, etc. This makes sense as Pandora is still a pretty popular service with around 79 million active users as of 2015.

Are you excited to try out Pandora Plus? Is it enough to keep you interested in the radio style of internet music? Check out the full press release below.

 

OAKLAND, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pandora (NYSE:P), the go-to music source for fans and artists, today launched Pandora Plus, a one-of-a-kind, ad-free radio experience with dramatically increased functionality. For just $4.99 per month, this innovative listening experience includes more skips, replays and an ingenious solution for offline listening that elegantly handles issues with lost connectivity and cellular data usage. This unique marriage of design and functionality, at a very affordable price, marks yet another milestone in Pandora’s journey to create the most personal music experience in the world, giving listeners greater flexibility and control, while allowing for the endless discovery that listeners love so much.

“We’re always delighting our listeners through continuous innovation and a relentless focus on simplicity and ease of use,” said Chris Phillips, chief product officer at Pandora. “For example, our new predictive offline mode automatically detects when you lose signal and switches to one of your top stations that Pandora knows you love. No effort required. It just keeps playing.”

As part of this product transformation, valuable new features will also enhance Pandora’s existing ad-supported option. Listeners will now have more control over their advertising and listening experience with the ability to skip more songs and replay songs simply by opting into a video ad. Advertisers in turn will benefit from a more engaged and attentive audience.

“We’re methodically and passionately developing the world’s most personal music experience,” said Tim Westergren, founder and CEO at Pandora. “And that includes flexibility in how you listen and what you pay for it. Whether a listener wants to take advantage of our enhanced ad-supported experience, our groundbreaking subscription radio service, or our fully interactive on-demand option coming later this year, we have a solution tailored for you at a price point you can afford.”

Pandora Plus, as well as the new features available on the ad-supported tier, will launch today and roll out to listeners in the coming months on iOS and Android smartphones. Existing Pandora One users will seamlessly transition to the new Pandora Plus service during that period. For listeners in Australia and New Zealand, the new Pandora Plus and ad-supported features will be available in 2017.

Pandora will also host a conference call along with a product demonstration after the close of the bell on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, at 1:30PM (PT) / 4:30 PM (ET). A live audio/video webcast will be available at http://investor.pandora.com. A live domestic dial-in is available at (877) 355-0067 or (614) 999-7532 internationally. A domestic replay will be available at (855) 859-2056 or (404) 537-3406 internationally, using passcode 80527392.

ABOUT PANDORA

Pandora is the world’s most powerful music discovery platform – a place where artists find their fans and listeners find music they love. We are driven by a single purpose: unleashing the infinite power of music by connecting artists and fans, whether through earbuds, car speakers, live on stage or anywhere fans want to experience it. Our team of highly trained musicologists analyze hundreds of attributes for each recording which powers our proprietary Music Genome Project®, delivering billions of hours of personalized music tailored to the tastes of each music listener, full of discovery, making artist/fan connections at unprecedented scale. Founded by musicians, Pandora empowers artists with valuable data and tools to help grow their careers and connect with their fans.


About the Author: Kevin Arnold

Kevin has been obsessed with technology ever since the days of playing with commands in MS-DOS. As a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology where he studied a combination of New Media Programming and Photography, Kevin lives in New York City where he works as a photo retoucher. His first "smartphone" was the good old LG Voyager with its slide-out physical keyboard. The first Android device Kevin owned was the now-infamous HTC Thunderbolt, which he still has in a drawer somewhere. Currently rocking both the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, Kevin has a (un)healthy obsession with phones and has owned more than he can remember. When he's not shopping for a new phone, Kevin enjoys lots of food and wine, video games, astronomy, and the Big Apple.