Pandora Radio will be offering select customers access to the new Premium services beginning Wednesday. Current users will get email invites, and you can sign up on its site to be one of the first to try the new service.
Pandora Premium will allow users to search and select individual songs or albums and make their own playlists, two functions Radio doesn’t have. But these extra perks come at a cost of $9.99/month, according to Pandora.
In addition to the individualization Premium offers, it has also adopted some of the best parts of other streaming apps. You can take any song. Album or playlist with you even when you don’t have service or Wi-Fi with Premium. Additionally, it will automatically download your top playlists and switch you to one when you lose service. Most of the other perks have to do with Pandora catering to your likes.
Pandora Premium will let you add a few songs to a new playlist and then give you the option to fill it out with similar songs so you don’t have to go through the work of filling it out yourself. If you don’t feel like making your own playlists at all, you’re still covered. Pandora will make you a new playlist every week and use your likes and dislikes to make sure you’ve got the best of the best.
Premium will also feature a new look, that will match to the album cover of whatever song you’re listening to.
These updates come after SoundCloud released a SoundCloud Go last month giving users access to more songs. Premium could find itself competing with Spotify if it comes up with plans like those that Spotify offers, including student discounts and family plans.
With the release of Pandora Premium, all three streaming services will be offering pretty similar plans with customized playlists and offline listening. So when choosing which one to go with, one of the biggest factor is price. SoundCloud Go is available at $4.99/month, while Pandora Premium and Spotify Premium are both $9.99/month. If you’re a student, you can get Spotify Premium for just $4.99/month, and families (up to six users) can get Spotify Premium for $14.99/month.