If you hate ads, but you’re still on the fence about jumping on the subscription streaming service bandwagon, Pandora has a deal for you. The company is looking to add a commitment-free way to listen sans commercials, charging 99 cents for 24 hours of ad-free listening.
As reported by Music Business Worldwide Pandora CFO Mike Herring mentioned the option of offering ‘a la carte’ listening in a recent earnings call to investors, and the likeliest move is the new ad-free day pass to Pandora for 99 cents.
“[This will work] if you’re having a party and you… just want to play Pandora but you don’t want the ads to show up over the loudspeaker when your guests are in the house, or during thanksgiving dinner or something,” said Herring. “So we’re looking at ways of supplementing [our] ad business.”
This new service would be in addition to Pandora One, the service’s $5 per month ad-free subscription, which offers 192 kbps playback as well as more skips per day than the “freemium” version.
Thanks to mounting pressure from labels, big artists like Taylor Swift, and the bottom line, streaming services are increasingly looking for ways to hook users into a monthly subscription option. Spotify is one of the biggest leaders of the subscription-streaming pack, touting 15 million paid subscribers to go along with its 60 million or so free users.
Pandora One hasn’t taken off yet, though: only three to four million of Pandora’s mass of 81.5 million active listeners are paid subscribers.
This new strategy is designed to help Pandora, which, like most streaming music services, is consistently on financial thin ice in regards to profitability and stock shares (although it is worth noting that the company’s stock price jumped today after takeover rumors, via Billboard).
“We do a lot of trade-offs between advertising and subscription business in order to optimize for revenue and for profit. As we look to the future we think there are significant opportunities to add more price points,” explained Herring.
While the option is a welcome addition, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense financially to the average user, unless you find yourself in one of those rare situations in which ads just aren’t an option. If you’re really a fan of the service, it’s a lot more cost-effective to pay 5 bucks for 30 days, than $1 for 24 hours. However, in uncertain times, there are no bad ideas. It looks like Pandora is getting creative, so be on the look out for more options in the future.
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