Pandora, the radio app, has just rolled out a new music service dubbed Pandora Plus which offers expanded features at $4.99 per month with the ability to skip and replay songs as well as support offline listening. In addition, the company announced new mobile advertising options.
Granted, it’s not exactly Spotify competition since it doesn’t offer on-demand listening options, but it’s nevertheless an expansion of its previous service. Pandora One will be replaced by Plus. The roll-out is in line with the company confirming licensing deals with labels Merlin Network, Sony Music and Universal Music Group.
Pandora rolls out new Plus service
The new agreements are all about adding quality tracks to Pandora’s library of music, according to Chris Becherer, VP of Product. He adds:
“With these new partnerships, we’re able to take that library and do more interesting features with it. The ability to replay your favorite track is something that’s not been previously available on internet radio.”
In time, Pandora will also offer on-demand listening, the company confirmed.
Competitor Spotify just recently announced that it had reached 40m paid subscribers up from 30m in March. Apple Music has also fared well with 17m subscribers.
Pandora now has over 78m listeners, but just 4m on subscription plans. User growth has stalled somewhat, but the company has faith Plus can restore growth. Becherer adds:
“Pandora Plus is much closer to that sweet spot of what people have traditionally spent on music.”
The company has also rolled out new advertising features, including the option to control ad experiences on the consumer end. Pandora users can opt-in for video adverts in exchange for additional song skips and more song replays. Essentially, brands get to sponsor these playbacks and skips.
This means added engagement with users having to view the entire advert to gain rewards. Pandora monitors user behaviour to decide if it should show a sponsored ad.
The new ad products as well as Pandora Plus are now available across iOS and Android devices with services in Australia and New Zealand following next year.