Pandora is getting closer to becoming the latest company to jump in the $10-a-month, all-you-can-eat music streaming world. The radio service has signed licensing deals with Universal Music Group, Sony Music, and Merlin Network for its upcoming subscription music services. This leaves Warner Music Group as the sole major label that hasn't signed on for the service.
Unlike other recent entrants into the on-demand music subscription world, like Apple and SoundCloud, Pandora is expected to have two separate subscription options. Pandora will announce an expanded version of its current $5-a-month Pandora One service, according to The New York Times. The service, which currently removes ads and lets you skip more songs on radio streams, will reportedly increase the skip amount from six songs per hour, and allow users to store playlists online.
The $10-a-month subscription service will be very similar to Apple Music and Spotify
According to multiple sources, the $10-a-month service will be very similar to services we've grown accustomed to from the likes of Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal: a catalog of millions of songs available on-demand with no restrictions. What is unclear is whether Pandora will launch the service without Warner Music Group — and thus without artists like Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, and Bruno Mars — or wait until a deal is done with the label before moving forward.
Pandora is well positioned to potentially make a dent in the music subscription landscape if it plays its cards right. It currently has 78 million users, which I'm sure will all be flooded with ads (unless you have Pandora One) for the new subscription service once it launches. A conversion rate of 10 percent would push Pandora into third place in the paid music streaming market, and could give Apple Music and Spotify something to think about, besides each other. During an investor call this morning, Pandora said the new subscription services will launch soon, so you shouldn't have to wait much longer.