Pandora Media Inc (P) Premium Roll Out is Officially Underway

Posted March 16, 2017

These updates come after SoundCloud released a SoundCloud Go last month giving users access to more songs. Wired said that the new service offers features expected of modern paid streaming services, but "there's really no reason for a Spotify or Apple Music user to switch to Pandora Premium".

Users will be able to pay $9.99 a month to search for and play whatever they want, whenever they want - and the service has a bit of Pandora's secret sauce mixed in.

Pandora says Premium's going to make Search smarter by organizing your results based on what it knows about you, and hiding the stuff nobody wants.

Pandora promises that everything you've already given a "thumbs up" to on its internet radio service will carry over into a Premium playlist, and it'll offer a "Browse" feature that offers personalized suggestions.

Downloads. You can download songs, albums, playlists and stations. Wedbush believes that the vast majority of Pandora Plus subscribers (over 4 million) will trade up to the higher-priced on-demand service over time.

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"Every day tens of millions of people trust us to choose the exact right song for them". Pandora Premium will come with an annual ARPU of $120, but with 37% contribution margin, compared with Pandora Plus at $60 in annual ARPU and 42% contribution margin, and ad-supported at a targeted $26 annual ARPU with 60% contribution margin.

Pandora now offers advertiser-supported and subscription commercial-free streaming music services that provide internet radio channels that deliver songs based on genre, style of artist and other factors.

Pandora's unique advantage is its understanding of what users like, making the service like "a friend you have known for a while", Westergren said.

If you want to take a trip down memory lane of your favorite songs, Pandora offers a My Thumbs Up playlist that compiles every song you've tapped the Thumbs Up icon for. Pandora Premium is now currently available on both Android and iOS, Google Chromecast, as well as across automotive consoles. "With Premium, we're leveraging our vast trove of data and everything we've learned about personalization to offer a listening experience that sets a new standard for what a music service should be". Wedbush's 2017 revenue estimate may prove to be conservative, and it thinks Pandora could deliver upside should conversion to on-demand scale more rapidly than it has modeled. Existing Pandora users will receive their invitations to try out Pandora Premium starting on March 15.

Rather than bolstering the company's finances, Pandora Premium risks becoming a drain on the company's already sensitive balance sheet, BTIG media analyst Rich Greenfield said earlier this month in an investor note. It will be available on other platforms, including popular connected devices and web, in the coming months.