The company announced the new service – Pandora Premium – at an event in New York City on Tuesday evening, Engadget reported.
The service is expected to launch in the first three months of next year, with details on pricing coming soon. Those willing to fork out the fee, which we can expect to be no more than $10 a month in line with most competing services, will get unlimited access to millions of songs, all streamed ad-free.
By all accounts, and as you’d expect with such a service, Pandora Premium brings many of the features offered by rival outfits, though of course there are differences in approach. For example, Pandora told Engadget it’s tackling Search differently to other music streaming services, with the aim of making it more personalized. Specifically, it said that while rivals use popularity-based data to return search results for a typed inquiry, Premium will tailor results to each individual user according to their listening habits and previous searches.
Indeed, Pandora is determined to make full use of its mass of user data gathered over the years. That means things such as your listening habits and liked songs will be analyzed so that from the off, Premium’s recommended artists, albums, and tracks should have a good chance of hitting all the right notes.
Pandora offered Tuesday night’s event-goers a peek at the interface of its upcoming Premium service, which reportedly has a fair bit in common with the defunct Rdio platform. That shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, as Pandora last year bought parts of Rdio just as it filed for bankruptcy. Pandora admitted at the time it was acquiring “several key assets” from Rdio to create “an expanded listening experience,” with the fruits of its labor finally unveiled this week.
In a nutshell, it seems Pandora will be pushing personalization as the main selling point with its soon-to-launch Premium offering, a feature that could prove particularly effective – and attractive – for long-time users of the site, considering all the listening data Pandora must have on its servers.
Besides designing and building the interface for its new service, Pandora has also had to follow in the footsteps of its rivals and hammer out deals with all the major record labels for the right to use their tracks. Three months ago it appeared to have completed most deals. Warner Music Group was apparently holding out, though presumably the pair have now inked a deal.
While Pandora will be aiming to convert as many of its current users to its Premium service, its ability to pull users from the likes of Spotify and Apple Music, and attract first-time music streamers to its new offering, will be real confirmation of the service’s success.
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