Pandora has just relaunched its $5 paid listening tier Pandora One as "Pandora Plus." The revised service allows listeners the ability to replay songs, offers more skips than before and includes offline listening options with cached content.
For months now, Pandora has been promising listeners new options when it comes to accessing their favorite music on the streaming service. A new on-demand subscription offering similar to that of rivals Apple Music and Spotify is on the way soon. Meanwhile, the company has also been touting a revamped version of its $4.99 ad free tier, previously known as Pandora One.
Now, the Pandora One makeover has arrived in the form of Pandora Plus, with a host of improved and added features that the company hopes will inspire listeners to join. The new service allows listeners the ability to replay songs they are currently listening to, and also offers more skips per hour of tunes the user wishes to bypass. The limited number of skips previously offered on Pandora has always been a sore spot with subscribers who felt forced to endure music they didn't want to hear simply because they had utilized the allotted number of skips in a given hour.
Another issue for listeners was the lack of offline listening capabilities. When users went off the grid, their ability to listen to Pandora was interrupted. Now, Pandora Plus users will have access to cached content intended to keep them connected during such moments. The offline listening mode will be limited to the user's home or "thumbnail" station, along with the last three stations they have accessed prior to going offline.
Pandora has also tweaked its free service to offer users some of the new enhanced features, with a catch. Listeners to Pandora's free tier, who comprise the great majority of the streamers' subscribers (approximately 74 million out of its 80 million monthly listeners) will also have the ability to replay songs and add more skips per hour as long as they view a short video advertisement in exchange for the privilege. Pandora has not announced exactly how many more skips listeners will receive per advertisement viewed, nor the precise amount of skips now offered per hour on its new Pandora Plus service
"We're methodically and passionately developing the world's most personal music experience," said Tim Westergren, Pandora's CEO. "And that includes flexibility in how you listen and what you pay for it. Whether a listener wants to take advantage of our enhanced ad-supported experience, our groundbreaking subscription radio service, or our fully interactive on-demand option coming later this year, we have a solution tailored for you at a price point you can afford."
The new offerings are rolling out immediately in the United States, with Pandora's other territories of Australia and New Zealand coming on board in 2017.