Pandora Signs Deal With Warner Music to Launch Spotify Competitor

Janko Roettgers

Pandora has signed the last of the three major record labels necessary to launch its on-demand streaming tier: The company was able to seal the deal with Warner Music Thursday, and announced it after the close of the markets.

“Pandora has built a huge audience with a compelling product and we’re looking forward to new and enhanced subscription services for music fans and improved monetization for our artists,” said Warner Music executive Ron Wilcox in a media release announcing the deal.

Pandora announced similar deals with Sony Music and the Universal Music Group as well as indie music distributor Merlin on Tuesday. At the time, it said that it plans to launch a paid tier  that will allow consumers to stream full albums on demand towards the end of the year.

“The on-demand product is going to be one of a kind,” said Pandora CEO Tim Westergren when those deals were announced. “We just don’t think there is a product in the market right now that does that right.”

Earlier on Thursday, Pandora relaunched its $5 radio subscription service Pandora One under the new Pandora Plus branding. That paid tier offers users personalized radio stations without ads, but not full albums. With the relaunch, Pandora introduced new features to instantly replay songs as well as play entire stations offline on mobile devices.

Pandora first announced its plans to launch an on-demand streaming service a year ago when it acquired the assets of failed music streaming startup Rdio.

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