Saturday, 18 March 2017 14:35

Pandora guns for Spotify & Apple Music with new Premium on-demand service

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By Roger Fingas Monday, March 13, 2017, 07:27 am PT (10:27 am ET)

Pandora on Monday announced that its long-promised on-demand music service —Pandora Premium —is rolling out this week, challenging rivals like Apple and Spotify with a handful of unique features, mostly focused on personalization. [Updated with more launch info]

Upgrading to Premium for instance adds a "My Thumbs Up" playlist to a listener's library, including every song liked across Pandora's regular radio stations. The library itself incorporates stations alongside playlists, songs, and albums.

Pandora is also claiming faster playlist creation through an "Add Similar Songs" option, which makes use of the company's algorithms to automatically populate a list based on a handful of tracks. Similarly, the service can automatically generate playlists based on songs liked from a specific radio station, and offer new album recommendations from a person's favorite genres, rather than just the most popular material.

Search, meanwhile, is said to be more refined, generally ignoring karaoke and cover tracks, and improving in accuracy over time.

Other features include downloads for offline listening, and a different "Now Playing" interface which changes color based on album art and inserts options for saving and downloading.

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