Pandora loyalists who have stuck it out with the streaming radio service —instead of switching to another platform and having the freedom to choose specific tracks to play — will finally be rewarded for their patience, as the company is launching a long-rumored new premium tier for $10/month.
Much like its competitors over at Spotify, Apple, and Amazon, Pandora’s first on-demand streaming service will allow users to make playlists and download music for offline listening.
Pandora Premium users will also be able to start a playlist with a few songs they choose, and then click “Add Similar Songs.” The service’s Music Genome Project algorithm then fills in the rest of the list.
If you’re thinking this sounds pretty darn similar to rivals’ services, you’re not alone: Wired.com points out that there’s really no compelling reason to switch from Spotify or Apple Music, as those platforms offer similar perks, or in Apple’s case, access to exclusive albums or tracks.
Pandora also doesn’t have a web player or support for connected devices beyond Chromecast and certain car systems, but “it will be available on other platforms, including desktop and popular connected devices, in the coming months,” the company says.
Pandora’s cofounder and CEO thinks the service can still catch up to its rivals and offer an experience they don’t.
“One of the reasons we’re doing this is because we think people haven’t done this right yet,” Tim Westergren, tells FastCompany. “Right now, subscription services are 30 million songs and a search box. It’s the equivalent of handing somebody the keys to the record store and saying, ‘Good luck!’”
Pandora Plus subscribers on iOS or Android will have six months of Premium for free, while trial lengths for others will “vary,” the company says.