If a listener is looking for a specific song, artist, or album, they will be given a choice to unlock Pandora Premium by clicking and watching a video advertisement.
The addition could keep Pandora's 72 million free and Plus users (who pay $5 a month) engaged in the service, and help convert some of those users into paying customers.
From today, when free users of the service search for a song, album, or playlist they will be presented with the option to view a video advertisement for 15 seconds. "These new features address that need by marrying rewards-based advertising with the best-in-class on-demand experience we've created with Pandora Premium".
Viewing the 15-second ad will essentially unlock a temporary session of Pandora Premium. For artists, it creates new avenues of promotion by providing fans with direct links to play their music.
Earlier this year, Pandora launched Pandora Premium, which took the service from simple internet radio to full-on Spotify competitor with the ability to listen to songs on demand. Prior to that, Pandora only allowed users to listen to radio stations that are based on artists and songs they liked.
Though music services like Spotify and Apple Music tend to garner the most attention in the tech press, it's sometimes easy to forget that Pandora is not only alive and kicking, but still extremely popular. "If you're not willing to pay, you just couldn't do that on Pandora", he said.
This new option is available on Pandora's mobile and tablet apps. If you're a Plus or free member, do you think this will tempt you into subscribing to Pandora Premium?
The company announced on Thursday that non-paying listeners will be able to play specific songs, albums and playlists without paying.
The new feature is now being rolled out to all ad-supported and Plus users on iOS and Android devices.
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