Pandora's plan to dethrone Spotify

Proteus's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 699

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?

  1. You can now click on songs to save them and explore which album they're apart of.
  2. Jumps right into a song when you open the app rather than waiting for the listener to decide.
  3. 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.
  4. Rating a song with thumbs up, will save it for you to listen to later.
  5. Concert ticket recommendations and seamless ticket purchasing (through TicketFly integration)
  6. 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.

Source:
Pandoras' answer to dethrone Spotify

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?

Comments (30)

Best Response
Mar 14, 2017

If I'm at a friends and they play Pandora I lose a significant amount of respect for them. Spotify is the light and the way.

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Mar 14, 2017

I have a premium Spotify account but love Pandora's regular free radio. I use Pandora to discover new music then go find that artist/album on spotify or at least thats how I use them

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Mar 14, 2017

Both will go bk.

Mar 14, 2017

I use pandora like daily and it sucks, commercials every other song or so. I haven't had time to figure out spotify but I know I need to.

Mar 14, 2017

Do you feel as $10/month is a fair deal for the features mentioned above?. I think that i would only be interested in the algorithm, they use to predict songs that you would enjoy.

Just an Undergrad trying to get a job. Something you disagree or dislike about my posts? Let me know by PM'ing me or commenting constructive criticism.

Mar 14, 2017

I'm not paying for shit.

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Mar 14, 2017

So basically Pandora is finally catching up and offering all the shit Spotify already does for me, except now Pandora will start autoplaying before I decide what I want to listen to? Just another example of a bunch of Silicon Valley geeks with way too much funding and a shortage of innovative ideas.

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Mar 14, 2017

The CEO claims that they're solving the "cold start" problem that many users face. Hopefully you'll be able to turn that feature off.

Just an Undergrad trying to get a job. Something you disagree or dislike about my posts? Let me know by PM'ing me or commenting constructive criticism.

Mar 14, 2017

Too little too late.

Mar 14, 2017

One of the more interesting aspects of Pandora's revamping efforts is that, if I understand correctly, they are integrating the ability to purchase tickets into the website. Seeing as they are probably making a huge portion of their revenues from advertising, (I can't remember the last time I paid for something music-related and have yet to subscribe), the "service fees" associated with ticket sales could serve as a nice way to supplement their advertising revenue. I have not used Spotify but have heard it is fantastic. I stick to the free version of Pandora or listening to music on youtube.

Charlie Chaplin entered a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest in Monte Carlo and came in third. Now that's a story. This... is something else.

Mar 14, 2017

The ability to purchase tickets and their algorithm for discovering new music is intriguing. It's like Pandora is making a service for all things music. Sort of like a one-stop shop for music enthusiasts. Just to note that this is not the finished product. I'm sure they'll build onto it, once they have feedback.

Just an Undergrad trying to get a job. Something you disagree or dislike about my posts? Let me know by PM'ing me or commenting constructive criticism.

Mar 14, 2017

Everything in this list is already available on Spotify premium except for #2.

Source: I am an avid Spotify user.

Mar 14, 2017

Spotify has a service to buy concert tickets?

Just an Undergrad trying to get a job. Something you disagree or dislike about my posts? Let me know by PM'ing me or commenting constructive criticism.

Mar 14, 2017

Yes, go to the artist profile and hit the 'concerts' tab

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Mar 14, 2017

I've been following the development of Pandora Premium for over a year now as one of my closest friends is a lead product person on it. I agree 90% of the product is just catching up to Spotify and another 9% is really in the music discovery. However, the 1% that really interests me, and gives me hope for Pandora as a company, is the development of a very artist-friendly back end that will increase "service fees", "reference fees", etc. a ton for Pandora and increase ticket sales for smaller artists.

One of the big hopes that the product team has is that Pandora will show interesting new music for a nearby artist and convince people to buy tickets to their concert. Essentially becoming the Expedia of music. The value prop is insane, and the model is well understood but the execution remains to be seen. I've met Tim and he seems to be pretty invested in this music ecosystem. Just don't know if it has legs.

Mar 14, 2017

I don't use Spotify or Pandora but I did get to see how Spotify works on someone else's phone. Why do people use these apps? I find it funny because they depend heavily on their user base to make music available on Spotify.
I sometimes read comments on youtube and see people writing if the uploader can put in on Spotify and that to me is hilarious. I would expect these apps to actively convince artists and record houses to actually publish their music on their apps.

Anyhow, I use last.fm to discover music and soundcloud/bandcamp for independent artists.

Mar 14, 2017

No love for apple music?

Mar 14, 2017

I am wondering why nobody is mentioning the greatness that was Zune? $15 unlimited downloads and 10 free song downloads a month were nothing to scoff at.

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Mar 14, 2017

I thought this said "deepthroat" all morning and still didn't click on it until now.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

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Mar 14, 2017

Same boat!

Mar 14, 2017

Spotify has radio too where you can discover new songs and with my b-school email I only pay $4.99/month for premium. Good luck topping that, Pandora.

Mar 15, 2017

I have been paying for spotify premium since they released the service. It's a good service IMO, but I'm not sure how they're going to fix their income issue. As it is right now, 70%-80% of the money goes right out to owners and record labels. With their current business model, it's practically impossible to make money.

It's sad, because it's such a great service IMO. I still remember dealing with winamp and mp3's, or itunes, etc. before 2009.

Mar 15, 2017

Use VPN >> Piracy

Yes, I have no respect for artistic talent. That's why I shell out cash for VIP box seats at concerts.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

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Mar 15, 2017

I'm all about piracy, so I'm not paying for premium dick. My wife has Spotify Preimum though and I still prefer my free Pandora with the commercials. I don't remember my login so when I get a new phone, I'll probably need to switch to Spotify. I like that Pandora is simple. I can shuffle the 100 stations I've been making since I was 16 and I might be listening to some fucking harpsichord concierto shit and then death metal after a Geico ad. Why not. I like variety.

With Spotify, there are too many fucking buttons and categories and settings. I can play an artist or an artist radio or rap caviar whatever the fuck that is. I don't need you bozos making me a playlist I got immaculate taste go fuck your mother.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

Mar 15, 2017

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.

MP3 usually go to 320kbps... Spotify max bit rate is 320kbps...

Mar 15, 2017

Can anyone else not notice a difference between audio qualities unless it's just terrible?

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

Mar 16, 2017

If you're using a DAC you can definitely tell the difference between 128 and 320kbps.
Nice headphones help but you don't need anything too crazy.

Mar 15, 2017
Comment
Mar 16, 2017