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Pandora Premium: What It Means for Listeners and Artists

Thanks to technology, we exist in a time that offers all the options of the past, present, and future, for music creators and listeners alike. Music fans can still access their favorite music, via a variety of modes, whether it’s radio, vinyl, CDs, or digital streaming. Musicians enjoy a similar freedom in the methods they use to create sounds and songs, whether that’s analog or digital. Each of the listener platforms offers musicians a chance to engage with a unique audience.

The beta release of Pandora Premium has us thinking about the way streaming has brought different demographics and listener bases together under one service. Pandora’s new streaming service offers listeners a unique platform to discover music while staying true to their radio DNA. Less centered on the playlist model, Pandora Premium offers a lot of what you might expect in an on-demand version of Pandora’s web radio. The services gives users the ability to compile all their “thumbed-up” songs into a playlist, which they can then access offline. Users can also stream albums in full, and listen to new types of radio stations (along with what they’re familiar with) that tailor more to moods and genres. All these new features arrive in the form of an app, not yet available on web browser.

What makes Pandora Premium unique from other streaming services, is their demographic. In 2015, 21% of Pandora’s listeners fell into the 35-44 age group, with the 18-24 age group (19%) coming in at a close second. This new audience of listeners isn’t necessarily guaranteed to transfer over to Pandora Premium, but it is worth noting for artists creating music that will live on streaming platforms. There’s a lot of potential for artists to get creative with music in new ways, and tune into markets that may have been previously inaccessible before. From our perspective, we know that artists have come to us hoping to work with Pandora, so this new option might make their music more accessible to the platform.

We’re excited to see how Pandora Premium impacts the artists we work with. We already know that adding a premium tier is the perfect coupling to discovery, and the Music Genome Project offers a curated selection of artists for every station, which differs from most other placement models in streaming.

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