Matthew HughesFormer TNW Reporter
Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twi Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twitter.
Pandora is getting better and better. It just rolled out a paid ad-free service called Pandora Plus, which introduces features never seen before in the service, including unlimited song skipping, “replays”, and an offline mode.
Pandora Plus will cost $5, and will replace the existing plan at that price point.
Perhaps the most intriguing feature in Pandora Plus is “replays”. This allows you to traverse through your listening history, and listen to any song you’ve heard previously. This blurs the line between on-demand services like Spotify and Apple Music, and internet radio services, which Pandora is.
Replays are available on Pandora’s free tier, but with a caveat. User have to watch a 15 second video ad first. Thankfully, you won’t have to watch an advert every time you replay a song, as each one gives you a “handful” of replays.
Offline mode works by saving four stations for you, including your “thumbprint radio”, and others it has determined you might want to keep. These stations are cached whenever you connect to WiFi, and are regularly updated, so you’ve always got fresh music to listen to.
Skips work as you’d expect – pay $5, and get the ability to move past any stray Justin Bieber that’s found its way into your station. Free users will be able to skip tracks, again by watching a 15 second video advert.
These changes will be gradually rolled out over the month. Pandora is also working on a $10 monthly plan that would see it pivot into an on-demand streaming service. It recently inked deals with Universal and Sony, which are two of the “big three” labels. It’s deal with Warner is still a work in progress, however.
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