Pandora renames $5 subscription service, adds offline playback and other features

Parker Hall
Pandora renames $5 subscription service, adds offline playback and other features
Pandora has upgraded its ad-free, $5-per-month streaming tier, adding the ability to skip more songs per hour and replay more songs, and allowing users to save playlists for offline playback.

Pandora has changed the name of its $5 paid subscription option from Pandora One to Pandora Plus, and is offering paid users a bigger set of features for their Lincoln.

The upgrade to its ad-free radio platform includes the ability to skip more songs per hour and replay more songs, and adds the option for offline playback of radio-style playlists for the first time ever.

Related: Pandora’s upcoming Spotify killer has one major problem

It’s a sizable increase in functionality to the midtier streaming service, one the company probably hopes will help grow subscriptions before it launches its upcoming full, on-demand option later this year.

Pandora announced Monday that it had secured licensing deals with two of the three major labels for its upcoming $10-per-month on-demand service, with more than 30 indie labels and distributors also on board. The final major label, Warner Music, is currently in negotiations with Pandora, and is expected to ink a deal with it imminently.

Offering its current paid users better features, and eventually offering an on-demand service, seem like intelligent moves for the music streaming company. Pandora Plus will likely continue Pandora One’s reign as the king of the midtier of online music streaming — a great choice for those who don’t want ads, but who also don’t need the extra features that come with Apple Music or Spotify subscriptions.

If the new on-demand service is a success, the company will be the only streamer to offer a one-two punch in the streaming marketplace, with a $5 service for those who want ad-free, radio-style playback, and a $10 option for those who want to pick as they go.

Pandora currently boasts more than 70 million monthly users, and if its upcoming on-demand service is able to secure even 10 percent of that user base upon launch, it will instantly be the third most-used option on the market.