Pandora Makes A Serious Play In The Streaming Wars With Flexible New $5 Option

By: 09.15.16

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Pandora has taken another step in its push toward competing in the streaming wars. Following the launch of Questlove’s new radio show on Sept. 7, the company has announced a rebranded version of its $5 per month ad-free subscription radio service. Formerly called Pandora One, the more competitive service is now called Pandora Plus and allows more skips, replays of songs, and an offline listening feature. Its ad-supported free option has also improved.

Thanks to new licensing deals with all three major record labels — notably, Warner Music Group held out until the afternoon of the launch — Pandora Plus now has unlimited replays and skips. The new offline mode automatically saves listeners’ thumbprint radio station and three most-recent and most-listened-to stations. When the user’s signal is lost, the app automatically switches to one of those stations.

Pandora’s more popular free version is also enhanced with a new feature which gives users more control over their advertising and listening experience. By opting into a video ad, listeners can skip more songs and replay songs.

Unfortunately, the service is only going live to 1 percent of its user base today. Pandora told Recode it won’t fully roll it out for another month or so. As for the company’s forthcoming on-demand streaming service, the $10 per month plan is still expected to arrive later this year.

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