Pandora takes aim at Spotify’s Release Radar with smart playlist The Drop

When it comes to subscription-based music streaming services, Spotify and Apple Music are currently the two major players at the top of the heap. Last year, Pandora launched its own answer to those companies’ subscription services in the form of the $10 per month Pandora Premium, but its music discovery features were somewhat lacking. The company has been working on remedying that situation with the addition of Featured Playlists, but its newest smart playlist feature, The Drop, could be just what the service needs to lure subscribers away from the competition.

Announced today, September 17, on the Pandora blog, The Drop is the streaming service’s answer to Spotify’s Release Radar feature. Both are smart playlists that update weekly with new music that is based on what you already listen to, so while you’ll probably see music from artists you’ve never heard of before, you’ll also see new music from artists you already love as it is released. Pandora says that The Drop updates when new music is released, and since most music is released on Fridays, that’s when you’ll likely see the list update, just like Release Radar.

There are some key differences here. While Spotify limits Release Radar to 30 songs and changes every week, The Drop has a limit of 100 songs, and will keep older releases from week to week. This could be handy if, for example, there’s a killer track from an artist whose name you forgot, and want to go back and listen to more from them.

Once you find a song or songs you like, you can do more than just listen to it. You can add the song to My Music so you can keep coming back to it, or, as Pandora recommends, “share it with friends and family so you can brag that you heard it first.”

At least for now, The Drop is only available to Pandora Premium subscribers and trial users. You’ll also need to have listened to enough that Pandora has an idea of what sort of music you like. If you don’t see The Drop just yet, just keep listening, it will pop up eventually, and the more you listen, the better it should get. In the meantime, if you’re not sure which service might be better for you, take a look at our comparison of Pandora and Spotify.

Music

Apple Music may sign up more exclusive artists with purchase of Platoon

Apple purchased London-based Platoon, which is a startup that helps independent musicians get discovered by major labels. The acquisition may help Apple Music sign up more exclusive artists.
Music

The best new music this week: Josh Homme, Domo Genesis, and more

Are you looking for the best new music? Each week, we scour the internet to find the most compelling new releases just for you. On tap this week: Josh Homme, Domo Genesis, Eddie Palmieri, and Jacob Collier.
Music

From Paul McCartney to Mariah Carey, this is the best holiday music

Whether you're a fan of classic jazz standards or modern R&B masterpieces, there's something for everyone on our playlist of the best holiday music. Pour some eggnog and curl up by the fire, this one is sure to get you in the holiday…
Home Theater

Spotify Wrapped reveals rad facts about your musical tastes and habits

The website may be a bit tough to find at first, but Spotify Wrapped tells you awesome facts about your year in listening. From how many minutes you spent jamming out to your top artists, and beyond, there's a lot to dig into.
Home Theater

Step aside set-top boxes, the best streaming sticks are tiny and just as powerful

Which streaming stick reigns supreme? We pit the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra against the Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick+, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K to help you decide which one will be the best fit in your living room.
Home Theater

Boy dies after being electrocuted through his headphones

A 16-year-old Malaysian boy appears to be the latest victim in a growing list of people who have been electrocuted by their smartphones via their headphones. It's believed that a faulty charging cable is the culprit.
Product Review

AKG's signature studio sound goes straight to your head with these stunning cans

With gorgeous looks and great sound, AKG’s N700NC are a formidable entry into the wireless noise-canceling headphone race. We put them to the test to see if they can beat out the absolute best in the business.
Home Theater

Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD TVs you can buy? Here are five great options

If it's time to upgrade your old 1080p to a new 4K model but you don't know what to look for, fear not, as we're here with a list of the best 4K Ultra HD TVs to help make your buying process as easy as possible.
Home Theater

Here's how to pick out the best TV stand to enhance your viewing experience

This TV stand buying guide will cover how much space you need for equipment, how the stand manages cables, and the size of the stand you need as you look for a new model that fits in your home.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.
Movies & TV

Sit down and watch some of the best stand-up comedy on Netflix

Feeling a little funny? There are hundreds of hilarious comedy specials out there, and you can't be expected to comb through them all. Lucky for you, we've compiled a list of the best stand-up specials on Netflix.
Movies & TV

Lose the torrents. Here's how to watch 'Game of Thrones' online (legally)

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on TV, but unless you're a cable subscriber, finding a way to watch isn't always easy. Check out our guide on how to watch online, whether you prefer using HBO, Hulu, or Amazon.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Computing

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.