Pandora’s been around for nearly two decades, but the service hasn’t remained relevant for a few years. The music streaming landscape changed and is now dominated by two services. Spotify and Apple Music combine for over 100 million subscribers today. That’s not stopping Pandora from trying out new things to get back into your ears, though.
The latest feature on Pandora is free on-demand listening. Of course there’s a catch, but maybe it’s enough to generate interest from people who would otherwise choose already-made stations on Pandora and other services.
Now you can listen to absolutely any song on Pandora as long as you watch a 15-second video advertisement before it begins. Just search for a specific song, album, or playlist and you can choose to gain immediate access by watching an ad. If the ads become annoying for you, there’s the option to join Pandora Premium for $10 per month after a free trial. Then you’ll have unlimited access to on-demand listening.
The feature is being labeled as a “complimentary session of Pandora Premium,” which is totally true. You’re not getting even a few songs on-demand for watching an ad. Only one song is exchanged for one ad.
Listeners on iOS and Android can already start enjoying any song after watching an ad. Pandora isn’t delaying Premium Access on any platforms. Those paying $4.99 for Pandora Plus, the restricted subscription, or nothing at all through the ad-supported experience are welcome to try it out and see if Pandora Premium is right for them.
Who knows if this will really help Pandora gain better traction in the music streaming space. Other free apps supported by ads have captured millions of users worldwide, including Pandora.