Internet radio service Slacker launched its Premium Radio service today, giving the brand a three-tiered service that aims to provide the best in Internet radio, personalized stations, and on-demand listening. Before today, the company offered free Internet radio and artist stations for basic users, as well as an upgraded, customizable and ad-free radio service for $3.99 per month. With the new Premium Radio service, which will cost $9.99 per month, users will have access to all of the current features of the Radio Plus service, but will also be able to listen to specific songs and albums of their choice on demand. Senior vice president of marketing Jonathan Sasse said that Slacker is “trying to bridge the gap between personal radio and on-demand music.” He accurately explained that competing services like Pandora offer personalized Internet radio listening, but no on-demand listening of full albums or specific song requests. Other competitors like Rhapsody and Mog do offer an on-demand music library of songs and full-albums, but lack the personalized ‘discovery’ experience of Internet radio.
With the new Premium Radio service, users get the best of both worlds. The new service combines the radio experience, which helps users discover new and relevant artists and offers an easy, no-search-necessary, way to listen, and a library of on-demand music, perfect for those who want to listen to just one artist or play their new favorite album over and over again. Sasse explained that this combination is a great way to let users choose exactly what kind of music experience they prefer. For the casual listener, a wide selection of genre radios offer one-click listening. Pickier users can customize their experience to perfection and even create playlists of their favorite songs or add specific songs into a radio station’s rotation. The company hopes that the new three-tiered approach will offer something for everyone, from free radio listening to an on-demand library experience. As a promotion for the new service, Slacker is giving users a month of Premium Radio access for free over at the company’s Facebook page. The updated service options have launched on the website and have also gone live on apps for Apple, Android, and BlackBerry devices.