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Pandora Now Allows Listeners to Access On-Demand Music Without Paying

Pandora Now Allows Listeners to Access On-Demand Music Without Paying

Just this week, Pandora has decided to launch a new option for its listeners, specifically allowing them to gain access to on-demand tracks without needing to sign up for a Premium subscription, that is, as long as they are okay with viewing a video ad before listening. This new option is made available to radio listeners, as well as those who have subscribed to the music streaming service provider’s Pandora Plus option.

According to a recent blog entry in Pandora’s official website, the new option will now be displayed whenever listeners look for a specific track, album, or playlist by way of the mobile app. What happens next is that customers will be offered to watch a video ad, and if they do, they get to enjoy an on-demand listening session, free of charge. Although some of the video ads may run for 30 seconds, users can skip the ad after 15 seconds.

On-demand streaming on Pandora’s Premium tier first debuted more than nine months ago, giving customers access to any track they want for a monthly cost of $9.99, plus the ability to compile their own playlists. The move has certainly paid dividends for the company -- during the third quarter of this year, the Pandora mobile app rose to the top of the highest grossing apps chart, usurping Netflix’s spot at number one. In the same three month period, Pandora also managed to post an improvement in the number of paid subscribers, increasing its 4.01 million subscribers from Q3 2016 to 5.19 million in Q3 2017. 

Most of Pandora’s earnings though are still generated from advertising. As a matter of fact, close to 73 percent of the company’s total revenues in the third quarter of 2017 came from ad related aspects of its operations. This is chiefly the reason why the music streaming service provider has decided to allow customers free access to on-demand music by way of video ads -- it goes without saying that most listeners will be willing to go through 15 seconds of advertising in order to enjoy listening to their favorite tracks free of charge. 

Obviously, this expected increase in incoming traffic would make for an awesome sales pitch to Pandora’s advertising clients. Pandora has also pointed out that people between 20 years old and 49 years old are more likely to find the ads interesting (or interesting enough), with 67 percent more okay with video ads that offer a reward of some sort, as opposed to those that one can not ever skip.