In May 2015, Pandora acquired the music-analytics powerhouse Next Big Sound, followed by concert ticket-seller Ticketfly five months later. Now it's launching the third piece of the puzzle, Pandora Premium, which makes plainer than ever the company's intention to eat Spotify's lunch.
Launching in the first quarter of 2017, Pandora Premium is an on-demand music subscription service that merges Pandora's data-powered personalized radio with an extensive, all-you-can-stream music catalog like the ones you can find on Spotify, Apple Music, and Deezer.
Pandora Premium takes the guts of Rdio (which Pandora also acquired last year) and fuses it together with the massive trove of data about music and listeners that Pandora has been collecting for the last 11 years. The result, promises chief product officer Chris Phillips, is a service with both a thorough music catalog and a personalized approach: Everything from the search results to the songs Pandora suggests while you're building a new playlist will be unique to each user.
Pandora Premium is part of the company's broader effort to keep up with an ever-changing streaming music market while trying to serve both listeners and artists. It's the next major step for the company as it charts its new course and, according to rumors, potentially looks for a buyer. JPT