Pandora Replaces Ad-Free Tier With $5/Month “Pandora Plus,” Offering More Skips, Replays

Last month, it was reported that Pandora might be going head-to-head with Spotify, Google Play, and Apple Music with a fully on-demand, ad-free streaming audio service for $10/month. That service is still reportedly in the offing, but today Pandora unveiled a new offering that is only $5/month, but is more of an upgrade to its existing paid tier than a true on-demand service.

The new $5/month Pandora Plus tier is replacing the company’s existing Pandora One ad-free tier, and promises users “more skips,” meaning when the radio station you’re listening to plays a song you don’t want to hear, you’ll have more opportunities to move on to the next song; and more “replays” for users who can’t get a song out of their head.

Plus will also include an “ingenious solution for offline listening,” so some sort of ability to download content. Chris Phillips, chief product officer at Pandora, describes it as a “predictive offline mode” that automatically detects when you lose signal and switches to one of your top stations. “No effort required. It just keeps playing.”

Non-paying Pandora users will also get the ability to skip and replay more songs, but they must first opt in to watching a video ad.

Current Pandora One users will be automatically move over onto Pandora Plus as the company rolls the new tier out over the coming weeks.

Pandora appears to be hoping that Pandora Plus will be more attractive than its premium tier, where the only benefit was the lack of advertising. Thus far, paying users have only generated around one-fifth the revenue that Pandora brings in from the ads served up to its 80 million free users.

The company is reportedly still expected to launch a $10/month fully on-demand service that will likely be both ad-free and provide users with the ability to listen to any song in the Pandora library as frequently as they wish.

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