I remember when Pandora first came out in 2005 and It was incredible. Pandora changed the music world, and then just sort of slowly faded into the back of peoples' minds. Has the window for Pandora to compete against Spotify closed? Pandora has released its version of Spotify, to capture a new revenue stream.
Per Pandora's' co-founder and CEO,
insists that there's still time: "One of the reasons we're doing this is because we think people haven't done this right yet. 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 has slowly been preparing for this transition as:
Pandora acquired Rdio and its team in late 2015 to build out its foray into the music subscription market now firmly dominated by Spotify. That move, along with its acquisitions of TicketFly and NextBigSound, was made to reposition Pandora in the streaming space, wooing both artists and listeners, and reengineering its business model.
The reason Pandora is doing this is because:
Streaming is now where a majority of the music industry's revenue comes from and--while the economics of it all are still shaking out for many artists--virtually everyone agrees that these trends will continue well into the future.
Now on to what everyone (or just myself) is wondering, what can Pandora offer to convince consumers of its superior service?
- You can now click on songs to save them and explore which album they're apart of.
- Jumps right into a song when you open the app rather than waiting for the listener to decide.
- Music discovery system based on data of 250 million accounts and 75 billion thumbs up ratings, this allows their music discovery system to accurately choose a song that it predicts you will enjoy.
- Rating a song with thumbs up, will save it for you to listen to later.
- Concert ticket recommendations and seamless ticket purchasing (through TicketFly integration)
- Ability to have Pandora's' algorithm add songs to your playlists, that it predicts you'll enjoy.
Pandora is selling the service for $10/month and is targeting those who hit the song-skipping limit. Unfortunately, the standard audio quality of the songs will be equivalent to an MP3 file. Compared to Spotify, the audio quality is not as comfortable to listen to.
Personally, I'm interested in what Pandora plans offer in the full version and how it will compete against Spotify. Do you think Pandora has a shot or is it too late?