Pandora is now letting users replay tracks, skip more songs and listen to music offline through its updated subscription service.
Called Pandora Plus, the service will replace Pandora One, the company’s current ad-free subscription offering. It will continue to be $4.99 per month for subscribers and is set to roll out over the next few months in the US, and will be available in Australia & New Zealand in 2017.
The announcement comes just days after Pandora signed direct licensing agreements with Sony Music, Universal Music Group and Merlin Network, signaling that the company is prepping to launch its on-demand service to rival the likes of Spotify and Apple Music.
Listeners who use Pandora’s free ad-supported offering will also be able to skip more songs and replay tracks, except they’ll have to watch a 15-second video ad to unlock these capabilities. According to Pandora’s senior vice president of ad product strategy Lizzie Widhelm, the brand is currently testing the amount of extra skips and replays a listener will be granted once they watch a video ad.
Widhelm said that Pandora Plus listeners will be able to skip more songs than they were able to under Pandora One, but did not reveal exact numbers. She also said that most, but not all, songs will be able to be replayed.
For Pandora Plus listeners who want to listen to music offline, whether on a long flight or during their subway commute, Widhelm said that Pandora will automatically switch users from the streamed service to an offline listening mode that will include the user’s Thumbprint Radio station – a personalized station based on which tracks a user has liked - as well as the top three stations that they most recently listened to.
Since the majority of Pandora's listeners use its free service, the company is hoping that these new features will encourage users to switch to Pandora Plus.