When it comes to paid subscribers, the music streaming industry is a two-horse race.
Pandora is getting an upgrade. Aside from giving its free tier more song skips and the ability to (finally!) replay tracks, it’s also rolling out a brand new “Pandora Plus” service. That costs $5 a month, gives you unlimited skips and replays, and lets you play (select) songs offline.
This chart from Statista should help explain why the company is making this move. As of this past June, Pandora had about 3.9 million paid subscribers. That’s better than the likes of Tidal and Deezer, but it’s still a ways behind Apple Music’s 17 million, and light years away from Spotify’s 40 million.
Considering how more and more music streaming revenue is coming from the subscription-based model, that’s a big gap. Pandora Plus isn’t quite a full-on Spotify competitor (a $10 a month on-demand Pandora service is reportedly coming in the future) but Pandora has to be hoping it can convert at least some of its roughly 80 million freebie users into regularly paying customers.