Spotify takes on Pandora with radio revamp: unlimited stations and song skips

Spotify Radio

Check out our comparison of the Spotify Radio and Pandora mobile apps for the latest on the two streaming services.

Spotify has relaunched its radio with new an all-new feature set, gently edging itself into territory currently occupied by the likes of Pandora and Sirius XM. In fact, Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek made it quite clear who the company had in its sights with the new radio, describing it as “kind of like Pandora with unlimited skipping and stations,” while on stage at the LeWeb’11 conference this morning.

The new version offers the listener a personalized radio experience, where a track is selected from an artist’s page inside Spotify and then a “radio station” is built around it. With access to more than 15 million songs, the newly overhauled recommendation engine will have plenty of choices. Listeners can skip as many songs as they like, and add tracks to a playlist for the future. Pandora, on the other hand, limits the number of times non-paying users can skip songs they dislike.

In addition to the unlimited track skips, users will be free to create as many stations as they like, and the service will be available without a subscription on the desktop edition of Spotify. Mobile users shouldn’t worry though; when asked about the new radio making it onto Spotify’s mobile apps, Daniel Ek told TechCrunch the feature would be coming “very soon.”

With the introduction of the new radio service, along with the recently announced app platform and Facebook integration, we wonder if Pandora’s Tom Conrad still feels the same as he did speaking to GigaOm last month, when he described the relationship between the two companies as “friends, not foes.” Given he mentioned Spotify’s purely on-demand nature and subscription model, possibly not.

Spotify’s new radio feature will begin rolling out on the desktop over the next few days, but if you’re keen to give it a try beforehand then it’s available as a beta preview here.

Smart Home

Pandora Premium joins Alexa’s Amazon dance party today

There are quite a few streaming services that work with Amazon's Alexa but a big one just got added when the company integrated access to Pandora Premium into its smart assistant and smart speakers.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Music

Music to our ears: Spotify at long last arrives on the Apple Watch

Spotify subscribers are now able to jam out to their favorite tunes on their favorite workout accessory, as the Swedish streaming service has finally released its official Apple Watch app.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 display could be bigger than the iPhone XS Max screen

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was only released a few months ago, but Samsung is already working on a follow-up. Not much is known about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 just yet, but we do have a few details.
Mobile

Keep your phone organized with one of the best file managers for Android

Your smartphone has a limited amount of storage space and all sorts of files tend to accumulate if you let them. To keep things in order and find what you need, you should snag one of the best file managers for Android.
Mobile

Upcoming Honor View 20 may forgo the notch for new display technology

Nearly a year after Honor released the spectacular Honor View 10, the Chinese smartphone giant appears to be hard at work on its successor, the Honor View 20. Here's everything we know about the upcoming midrange powerhouse.
Deals

The best Walmart Black Friday deals in 2018

Walmart has historically been the undisputed king of Black Friday deals. The mega-store is known for offering deals on products in almost every category, from smart TVs to children’s toys. We're combing through every deal as it is…
Mobile

The Google Photos iOS app gets a bit better, now has depth control

Google updated the iOS version of the Google Photos app to now take advantage of the depth data that can be captured by the iPhone's camera in Portrait Mode. The new feature is already available in the Android app.
Mobile

T-Mobile-Sprint merger could close as early as first quarter of 2019, exec says

T-Mobile and Sprint are finally merging. After a few failed attempts, the two companies announced their merger at the start of 2018. Once it's complete, the new T-Mobile could be better positioned to take on the likes of Verizon and AT&T.
Mobile

Apple confirms it’s collecting data on foot to improve its Maps app

Apple has been using cars and satellites to improve its Maps app, and it's now confirmed it's also using tech-laden pedestrians to collect data from the streets in a bid to provide better walking directions.
Social Media

Why an American named John Lewis gets lots of Twitter hassle from Brits

Spare a thought for Twitter user John Lewis. When he signed up as @johnlewis soon after the app launched in 2006, little did he know what he was letting himself in for. Clue: There's a U.K. department store called John Lewis.
Deals

The best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Mobile

Selfie-mad Meitu phones are now made by Xiaomi, may be sold globally

Meitu, a Chinese brand best known for its selfie and beautification software, has handed over its smartphone business to Xiaomi. The company now has the global license to produce phones using the Meitu name.