Pandora finally announced Pandora Premium today, its long-awaited music subscription service. Like Spotify, Google Play Music, and Apple Music, Pandora Premium is $10 a month, features tons of streaming music, and works in pretty much the same way as the aforementioned.

The meat and potatoes of Pandora Premium are nothing new. Search for an album or artist, press play, and you’re streaming music. Pandora Premium will launch with an offline mode, playlists, and will offer only mobile apps to start (no web app or desktop). What Pandora is really banking on with its Premium service is the power of the Pandora radio algorithm to dish out smarter playlists that keep you listening.

Add a song of two to a playlist in Pandora Premium and the system will build the rest of the playlist on its own. Same goes for any song you give a thumbs up in a playlist, essentially the old Pandora radio system you’ve used for years is rolled into Pandora Premium.

Rdio iOS App
Far ahead of its time the Rdio iOS App back in 2015

What really sets Pandora apart, in my mind, is the super slick interface and design. December 22, 2015 at 5 p.m. my music listening world was shattered when Rdio was shut down. Rdio was fairly bare bones compared to its biggest rival at the time Spotify. What set Rdio apart, however, was the design. The app was beautifully designed and the interface was perfect. The good news is that Pandora purchased Rdio in 2015, causing the shutdown, and all that interface and design goodness seems to have made its way into Pandora Premium.

Pandora Premium is launching over the coming weeks using an invitation system to start, with a free trial period to start. Pandora Plus members will get free access to Premium for six months. The service is launching on Android and iOS.


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