Pandora finally gave in and is joining the on-demand music streaming market, after being in the personalized radio category for the longest time. They have officially announced Pandora Premium, a new subscription tier where you have “the best of both worlds” in terms of having the ability to search for songs and albums on your own or let the service’s playlist powers do the choosing for you. Selected listeners will get to try it out for free for at least one month while if you’re already convinced that you want in, you’ll pay $9.99 per month.
Those who are probably longtime Pandora users and/or subscribers will receive an invitation to try out this new Premium tier. If you accept the trial run, you will not only be able to choose which songs or albums or artists you want to play but also curate them into playlists. Pandora promises that creating these playlists will not be difficult and you can even let them do all the work. Choose one or two songs that you’d like to build the theme of the playlist around, and then tap the “Add Similar Songs” button and the Music Genome Project will do the rest.
You will also get a “My Thumbs Up” playlist where all the tracks that you’ve thumbs up-ped will appear. So be careful that you don’t accidentally give your thumb of approval to a song by 5 Seconds of Summer (unless you’re really into them) or else they will appear on that playlist. The search function on Pandora also doesn’t prioritize the covers, karaoke or tribute tracks so you’ll get to the tracks you actually want quickly.
The Premium tier also has the usual features that music streaming services have, like genre recommendations, latest releases, and even offline downloads for those time when you lose connection. Those who are on Pandora Plus will receive six months of Premium at no additional charge. But for regular subscriptions, you’ll pay $9.99 per month. It’s currently available for Android smartphones, Google Chromecast, and can be integrated with Android Auto.