Pandora announced users in the United States will now be able to access Pandora Premium for a limited time without paying the $9.99/month fee. However, there’s a catch: users will have to watch a 15-second video ad.
This new feature is available to all Pandora users in the ad-supported free tier and for users who are paying $5/month for the ad-free Pandora Plus. When users search for a song, album or artist, an option will pop up to view a 15-second ad. Pandora’s video ads will typically be 30 to 45 seconds long. Once a user has already watched 15 seconds of an ad, they will be able to skip it and unlock Pandora Premium. Users that choose to watch the ad will then be able to access Pandora Premium temporarily, giving them the opportunity to stream any music on demand.
Pandora is still gauging how long users will be able to access the features of Pandora Premium, but the company is testing 15-minute, 30-minute and or one hour time limits, according to Business Insider. DuPandora ring Pandora ring silver that period, users will be able to take advantage of the features of Pandora Premium. This includes uninterrupted listening, listening to any music they want, build playlists and queueing up songs. The great thing here is that users will be able to unlock Pandora Premium multiple times a day just by watching ads.
Users will have the option to watch an ad to unlock Pandora Premium. Photo: Pandora
“Our ad-supported listeners’ top request has consistently been the ability to directly play the specific songs, albums, or playlists they want,” Pandora president and CEO Roger Lynch said. “These new features Pandora door address that need by marrying rewards-based advertising with the best-in-class on-demand experience we’ve created with Pandora Premium. This unrivaled experience will drive listeners to Pandora and drive awareness for Premium, while also creating new opportunities for artists, labels, publishers and advertisers.”
Pandora Premium first launched back in April and gave users the chance to subscribe for $9.99/month to stream music on-demand. Prior to that, Pandora only allowed users to listen to radio stations that are based on artists and songs they liked. Pandora Premium is the company’s effort to directly compete with Spotify and Apple Music.
This new ad-based “unlock” feature could help convince some of Pandora’s 75 million free and Plus tiers to start paying for Premium on-demand music streaming. However, the company believes that this new feature is also meant for users who don’t even feel the need to pay for Premium just to play a specific song or album. “If you’re not willing to pay, you just couldn’t do that on Pandora,” product officer Chris Phillips told Engadget. “What we’re excited about is delivePandora ring Pandora ring silver on that need and doing it for ad-supported listeners.”
The new feature is now being rolled out to all ad-supported and Plus users on iOS and Android devices.
Pandora users in the free tier will now be able to access Pandora Premium by watching ads. Photo: Pandora