Pandora's own entry into the on-demand streaming music market, called Pandora Premium, is officially launching this week to a select group of invitees who sign up for a chance to gain access on the company's website. Pandora Premium is the result of the company's acquisition of "key assets" and employees from Rdio back in 2015. Late last year, Pandora finally detailed what its new Premium service would look like at a special event.

Unlike in the base Pandora app, Pandora Premium allows its subscribers full, on-demand control of what they listen to thanks to the inclusion of playlists and a personalized search feature, which surfaces unique items based on each user's own listening history instead of what's most popular at the time. The service includes learning algorithms that can auto-fill playlists after adding a few songs to match the previous tracks' genre of music.

pandora premium

Image via Engadget

Users will also be able to download songs to listen offline, browse content they've previously thumbed up, and view Pandora Premium's Browse section to see curated artists aimed specifically at their own music tastes. Those with Pandora Plus will get six months of Pandora Premium for free, and following the small launch of invite-only users, Pandora Premium will open up for all users in the next few weeks.

Playlists, not worklists: Start a playlist with one or two songs of your choice, tap “Add Similar Songs” and put the power of Pandora’s Music Genome Project to work to create the perfect playlist for any activity, mood or party.
All your thumbs up: Every song you’ve thumbed up on Pandora is immediately available in your “My Thumbs Up” playlist. Thumb up a few tracks on any Pandora radio station and Premium will automatically create a new playlist of these songs too.
New music for you… and only you: Browse is stocked with personalized suggestions for the latest releases from current and soon-to-be favorites whether you listen to classical, metal, jazz, hip hop, country, and everything in between.
Offline mode: Download albums, songs stations or playlists you want and bring an end to those moments of deafening silence when you lose a signal.
Search that knows you: Pandora’s team of curators, music analysts and data scientists have sifted through tens of millions of tracks to help you quickly find what you really want. No more wading through covers, karaoke versions or tribute tracks to get to your favorite tune.

A few members of the press have had the chance to use Pandora Premium and shared their thoughts online today. Wired said that the new service offers features expected of modern paid streaming services, but "there’s really no reason for a Spotify or Apple Music user to switch to Pandora Premium." In an interview with The Verge, Pandora CEO Tim Westergren said that he wants Pandora Premium to be the number one streaming service -- above Spotify and Apple Music -- within five years.

“We have very grand ambitions for what this can be,” Westergren said. “If we look around at the space right now, we just don’t think that there’s a product that’s done it right. No one has solved the ease of use and personalization part of the on-demand world. I don’t think there’s really a true premium product out there yet… we think we’re bringing something really different here.”

In an update last December, Apple Music topped 20 million subscribers after 18 months on the market. Apple's and Pandora's rival, Spotify, announced that it reached 50 million paid subscribers earlier this month.

To get on the invite list for Pandora Premium's free trial, visit the company's website here. Invites will be sent out on March 15.

Top Rated Comments

jacobh101 Avatar
75 months ago
Pandora fails to understand that they need a bigger song library...I always think to myself "I just heard that song like 20 minutes ago"...
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Alexlfm Avatar
75 months ago
I'm not sure Pandora Premium will be worth it. For $20 more than I already pay for Pandora Plus and iTunes Match I could get a year of Apple Music. I wanted to keep Pandora because it streams with my Amazon Echos, but their library is so limited. I discovered more music using Apple Radio.
For me, nothing beats Pandora for radio. I've tried Apple music, I've tried Amazon's Stations, all of them, in my opinion fall short. The problem is, for me at least, they others are human generated
(or at least not very advanced algorithms), which is fine, but makes them too non-specific meaning if I want a station based on James Taylor's Fire and Rain, I don't suddenly want a more upbeat song popping up (I haven't tried youtube red, but based upon up next recommendations it would do a better job then Apple/Amazon although once again it's based on millions of users playlists, selections, etc.) None of the other services have solved this problem which is why I still use Pandora even though I have iTunes match, and prime music (well that and I pay the $4 a month price).
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erinsarah Avatar
75 months ago
This product space is maturing fast. I see why Apple is going with the Radio angle instead of just offering music downloads.
Remember the first ten minutes of Beats1, when everyone thought, "hey, this is pretty cool" only to quickly realize you had to really, REALLY like hip-hop in order to listen to it for more than eight minutes? Why have they not come up with other Beats1 stations that cater to the rest of us?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dwaltwhit Avatar
75 months ago
Customers win with competition. Customers lose when the competition shifts to "how many exclusives can we get?"
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FelixDerKater Avatar
75 months ago
Pandora fails to understand that they need a bigger song library...I always think to myself "I just heard that song like 20 minutes ago"...
Precisely!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bfChris2 Avatar
75 months ago
Of course the price point will be important to Pandora Premium's success. However, I think this is going to be an EXCELLENT PRODUCT. I have evaluated Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon Music. They let me choose to listen to specific songs, but they're hopeless at giving me a consistent playlist. IOW, if I don't want to spend the time to curate my own playlist, they're no good. I used to pay for premium access to di.fm (Digital Imports). DI used to play excellent curated playlists of various types of techno and electronic music, but beginning in Aug-Sep 2016, the playlists began to include more lyrics. More and more of their streams began to be infected with lyrics, until in January 2017, it seemed all style streams in which I was interested had vocalists distracting me from my activities.
Apple Music will not allow the user to "seed" a list, and no service is able to do what Pandora's Music Genome Project can do. I resurrected Pandora from the dustbin a month ago, and after several weeks of consistent music which never tossed in a wrong-genre tune, I subscribed to Pandora Plus. Music Genome Project is a tremendous asset; no other service is able to keep playlists on target song after song. I'm fed up with starting out listening to quiet piano, and 30 minutes later finding myself being screamed at by some hiphop-influenced pop track; this does not happen with Pandora.
The only thing Pandora lacks (other than bench depth) is on-demand song selection. Hooray for Pandora Premium!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

applefifthavenue

Man Robbed After Buying 300 iPhones From Apple Fifth Avenue

Tuesday November 29, 2022 11:54 am PST by
An unnamed 27-year-old man who purchased 300 iPhones from Apple Fifth Avenue on Monday morning was robbed shortly after leaving the store, according to 1010Wins Radio in New York. He was carrying 300 iPhone 13s in three bags and walking to his car at 1:45 a.m. when another car pulled up next to him. Two men jumped out and demanded that he hand over the bags. Not wanting to hand over 300...
iOS 16

Apple Releases iOS 16.1.2 With Carrier Improvements and Crash Detection Optimizations

Wednesday November 30, 2022 10:09 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 16.1.2, another minor bug fix update that comes one week after the release of iOS 16.1.1 and three weeks after the launch of iOS 16.1, an update that added support for iCloud Shared Photo Library, Matter, Live Activities, and more. The iOS 16.1.2 update can be downloaded on eligible iPhones over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According...
app store awards 2021

Apple Announces 2022 App Store Award Winners, Highlighting Best Apps of the Year

Tuesday November 29, 2022 3:10 am PST by
Apple today announced its 2022 App Store Award winners, highlighting the 16 best apps and games selected by Apple's global App Store editorial team. The top apps were chosen by Apple for their quality, innovative technology, creative design, positive cultural impact, and ability to deliver "exceptional experiences." Apple CEO Tim Cook said: This year's App Store Award winners reimagined...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

'M2 Max' Geekbench Scores Leak Online, Revealing Rumored Specs and Performance

Wednesday November 30, 2022 2:39 am PST by
Geekbench scores allegedly for the upcoming "M2 Max" chip have surfaced online, offering a closer look at the performance levels and specific details of the forthcoming Apple silicon processor. The Geekbench results, first spotted on Twitter, are for a Mac configuration of with the M2 Max chip, a 12-core CPU, and 96GB of memory. The Mac listed has an identifier "Mac14,6," which could be...
eufy camera

Anker's Eufy Cameras Caught Uploading Content to the Cloud Without User Consent [Updated]

Tuesday November 29, 2022 1:01 pm PST by
Anker's popular Eufy-branded security cameras appear to be sending some data to the cloud, even when cloud storage is disabled and local only storage settings are turned on. The information comes from security consultant Paul Moore, who last week published a video outlining the issue. According to Moore, he purchased a Eufy Doorbell Dual, which was meant to be a device that stored video...
Apple Park View

Elon Musk Meets With Apple CEO Tim Cook Amid Claims of Twitter App Store Dispute [Updated]

Wednesday November 30, 2022 12:43 pm PST by
Twitter CEO Elon Musk today met with Apple CEO Tim Cook at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, according to a tweet shared by Musk this afternoon. Musk thanked Cook for taking him around Apple's headquarters, with no mention of what the two might have discussed. The meeting comes just after Musk on Monday claimed that Apple has "mostly stopped" offering ads on Twitter, and that...
iphone 11 tesla cybertruck close up

Elon Musk Pledges to Build iPhone Rival If Apple Ousts Twitter

Tuesday November 29, 2022 2:48 am PST by
Elon Musk has pledged to offer an "alternative phone" if Apple and Google remove Twitter from their app stores, adding to long-standing rumors about an iPhone rival from Tesla. Modified iPhone 11 Pro in the style of the Tesla Cybertruck, by Caviar. Musk's remark came after being asked about the potential scenario of Twitter being removed from app stores, which could conceivably happen if the...
Cyber Monday Deals Feature 2022

Best Cyber Monday Apple Deals Still Available for AirPods, Apple TV, iPad, and More

Monday November 28, 2022 5:24 am PST by
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday shopping rush is drawing to a close, but there are still some good deals to be had out there. For Apple products, many of the deals you've seen since last week are still available, though some have expired. So for anyone who missed out on Black Friday deals, there's still an opportunity to get some of the year's best prices on many Apple devices. Note: ...
apple music replay 2022 highlight reel cropped

Apple Music Replay 2022 Revamped With 'Highlight Reel' [Updated]

Tuesday November 29, 2022 4:02 am PST by
Apple today rolled out an updated Apple Music Replay experience for 2022, showcasing a new "highlight reel" feature. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The overhauled experience, which started to be noticed by Apple Music subcribers on Twitter earlier today, puts the new highlight reel feature at the forefront of the Replay webpage, which users are encouraged to...
iPhone 14 Pro Rear Camera

iPhone 15 to Use 'State-of-the-Art' Image Sensor From Sony for Better Low-Light Performance

Monday November 28, 2022 11:00 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 15 models will be equipped with Sony's newest "state of the art" image sensors, according to a report from Nikkei. Compared to standard sensors, Sony's image sensor doubles the saturation signal in each pixel, allowing it to capture more light to cut down on underexposure and overexposure. Nikkei says that it is able to better photograph a person's face even with...