Pandora lets free users sample its on-demand service

Peter Castro
December 16, 2017

If you still haven't settled on a streaming music service, Pandora has something to show you: it's now letting people in the USA try its Premium service - which usually costs $9.99 a month - at no charge... well, almost.

So, how does it work?

To take advantage of this, users will be able to search for the song that they want to play and by watching a 15-second ad, unlocking the ability to play the song for free.

During the session, listen to uninterrupted music in the background of your mobile device while on-the-go and multi-tasking with Pandora's intuitive and easy-to-navigate mobile app.

Pandora users can now stream music on demand without paying for a Premium subscription. They are then offered the chance to watch an ad in order to listen on Pandora Premium.

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Watch a 15-second ad, get on-demand music streaming.

It's a good idea, honestly, and it's one that we may see other music services attempt if it translates to more Premium sign-ups for Pandora. But if you were using Pandora's free product, you still couldn't play the exact song you wanted.

Users will have the option to watch an ad to unlock Pandora Premium. Prior to that, Pandora only allowed users to listen to radio stations that are based on artists and songs they liked.

At first, Pandora spent its time licensing its patent to third-party users but soon became an online paid service so as to profit the company and its free labor. And while Pandora is also testing out different lengths of "unlock" time, Pandora Chief Product Officer Chris Phillips told Business Insider that these tests will be in the realm of 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour. "If you're not willing to pay, you just couldn't do that on Pandora", he said.

"This unrivaled experience will drive listeners to Pandora and drive awareness for Premium, while also creating new opportunities for artists, labels, publishers and advertisers". Without Pandora, the ideas for Spotify and so forth may not have ever even gestated.

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