When it comes to paid subscribers, Pandora has taken a back seat to all the other major services with only around 6 million. One of the reasons is that the company hasn’t been very creative with its tiers, but that posture may have changed with reports of the company launching a new family plan at $14.99 per month.
The family plan allows up to 6 users, all who can also unlock access to its special âOur Soundtrackâ personal playlist that combines each personâs unique musical taste. Each user will have accesses to their own custom radio stations and playlists, be able to download music for offline listening, and have access to high-quality audio uninterrupted by ads. In other words, they get all the benefits of a regular Pandora Premium user.
Of course, the big deal with Pandora is that individual playlists are generated based on what the service has discovered about your listening tastes, plus its knowledge of music itself via its Music Genome Project (75 machine learning algorithms plus the expertise of the company’s curators).
The family plan is a long time coming – too long according to many analysts. With 80 million regular users, Pandora hasn’t been very successful at converting enough of them into paying Premium tier users. The hope is that the new plan will be enough of an incentive to boost that number substantially.
That said, Pandora hasn’t exactly made it easy for that to happen. The company says that Pandora users who subscribe through iTunes, Google Play, Roku or the Amazon Appstore won’t have access to the new plan. What needs to happen first is that users have to cancel their subscription, wait for it to expire, and then subscribe from a computer instead of a mobile device. There may be a technical reason for this, but it’s very clunky and might prevent many people from switching.
When it comes right down to it, Pandora needs a way to increase its revenue through more paid users, and the new family plan can take it a long way towards that goal.