Pandora's long awaited real subscription music service is almost here. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is in the process of finalizing agreements with record labels for an on-demand music service that would challenge Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Tidal, and other services. Pandora's interest in shifting to a premium offering was made clear when the company acquired the failed Rdio service late last year.
According to the Journal, Pandora will run with a three-pronged strategy: Pandora's hugely popular free internet radio service will remain, as will Pandora One, a $5-per-month add-on that removes advertisements and lets users skip more tracks. And then there'll be a brand new $10 / month subscription option, which will give customers on-demand access to the same massive vault of music you'd find from Spotify and others. But how will the company fare when it comes to the exclusives that competitors are fighting over?
We'll know soon enough. Pandora could launch its revamped streaming products as early as next month, the report claims — first in the United States, and then expanding internationally. Pandora is hoping that the move will also enable the company to offer its free tier in more countries across the globe. Additionally, the existing Pandora One option will gain new features like offline playback and a greater number of skips, since users still won't be able to choose a particular song or album to listen to with the $5 tier. Pandora will undoubtedly market its new $10 offering to the massive base of users that listen for free.