Pandora Premium--the rebirth of rdio!

Discussion in 'Streaming Services' started by +48V, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    I've been playing with a Comp account beta for about a week under an NDA. Last night Pandora unveiled a public peek of it's re-incarnation of rdio. So I'm now free (to a limited extent) to share some dreadfully general observations.

    I won't can't post any screen shots presently. But...It's very clean. It's very intuitive. -->Remarkably rdio-like.

    Now playing album art is front and center and history is fan scrollable...above the fold. Stations are tied to your existing Pandora thumbs up/down history. Continue play is there and works outstandingly well. Background (rdio invented) changes to match album cover. No promo clutter--access to your collection is a click away.

    I'm camper happy. No complaints....that I can speak of at the moment. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
  2. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    Cool! Thanks for the update. Any idea of general release date?
     
  3. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    That's still a moving target AFAIK. Even if....actual release date is "above my pay grade" so I'm not privy. Like everyone insider else, I'll hedge sometime in January.
     
  4. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Is there a radio slider?
     
  5. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    No......[sigh]
     
  6. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Too bad. That was my favorite feature on MOG and Rdio and the one thing I miss. I still think the service sounds great, especially for people that have been using Pandora for a long time since it pulls over that thumbs up data. It is nice to see that Continue Play was carried over, though.
     
  7. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    uofmtiger likes this.
  8. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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  9. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    Wednesday to select invitees. Pandora Plus subscribers will get a complimentary " free" 6 month trial .
     
  10. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    Nice! I'm a P+ sub, mostly 'cause I use it in the car.
     
  11. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    That is a very generous trial period. I am not a Pandora Plus subscriber, but I do think that they will convert quite a few paying members using that model. I wonder who is paying the artists over those 6 months? I remember the artists throwing a fit over Apple's 3 month trial.

    Even if it is Rdio with better radio (which would be a very good thing), I can't see myself switching to it from Apple Music or Youtube Red (for that matter). The Siri and commercial-less YouTube are big bonuses for my typical use that are hard for another service to cancel out. After living with Siri in the car, having to go back into the app to choose music when I am out on the road would be very hard to get used to again. That is one advantage to Android, but then I would lose all of the continuity and airplay features of iOS, so it what it is.

    I wonder if this will get the ball rolling for Pandora profits again? They have so many users and are on so many devices that they at least have a shot to compete with Spotify for those people that aren't on Google/AM. I still feel like Facebook will come in and scoop one of the independent vendors up, but I guess they aren't in a big hurry.
     
  12. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    Ah yes. The Taylor Swift debacle. Apple got their tits in quite a rosy PR ringer when it was revealed that their contract with rights holders specified ZERO royalty due on trial accounts. Days after Taylor's purple nurple tweet, Apple amended the deal and agreed to pay the relatively standard $.002 per play on trial accounts. To paraphrase Eddie Cue, "Oops!".

    I don't know for a fact how much Pandora is paying out on trials, but I'm extremely confident that they were not foolish enough to make that sort of rookie mistake and are paying a royalty (graduated) on trial accounts.
    You? Switch? heh...as ingrained and enamored as you are with Siri control & your ecosystem...I'm deeply convinced you won't be going anywhere any time soon. :D

    I really can't imagine there will be any substantial amount of defections from Apple Music or Spotify veterans. I’m sure there will be enough curiosity for some using competing services—mainly the geeky—to give PP a trial run. But for the well-seasoned and practiced users, just the collection/playlist investment and UI familiarity (however shitty) alone will prod them to stay put.
    Indeed. Pandora’s ubiquity and long adored music chops do give them a huge advance “storming the beach”. Along with 16 years worth of battle scars in the streaming biz, they have 81 million active listeners, and 4.4 million Plus subscriber honey pot to draw from.

    Also, based upon the most recent numbers, subscription streaming is just beginning to blossom. So I don't think of Pandora's Premium "survival" so much in terms of "stealing" users away from existing competitors. More that this "new" universe as a whole is expanding with room to spare.

    Most certainly there are no guarantees in this space. But I think it goes without saying that Pandora has as good a shot as anyone could wish for when firing up an on-demand service at this point. Relatively it's a wee hour wet dream. It'll be an interesting 12-24 months. I wish them luck.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  13. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    I have several kudos and a few criticisms to share on my experience (beta & public) with Pandora Premium. They pulled (held back) some features for launch and yes...they've got some tweaking to do. At the most basic level, I'm sure it's intuitive simplicity will garner just as many gripes as it does glory from users both new & old.

    Right now all I have time to say is that it's rdio "lite" with great music curation and flow... with more to come. :thumbsup:
     
  14. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    Sonos has already said Pandora is working on integrating Premium. Pandora integrates better than any other service with my car. It works well on Echo, Dot and Google Home (though I've no idea if those will support Premium ). So, it may be the best choice for my preferred setups. I'm on the invite list...
     
  15. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Having a 6 month trial is definitely a big incentive to at least try them if you are one of the 4 million that has already handed them a credit card. I just want to see more about what they will do to try to pull in the 81 million that are not paying them. I would guess some of the 81 million are like me and have an account elsewhere, but there are probably still a lot left overs that could pay, but aren't. We are seeing pretty good increases in subscribers for both Spotify and Apple Music, so there is definitely room for growth without tapping into another user base. I just don't know how many will pick Pandora over the other options. As you said, they next couple of years will be interesting to see how this all shakes out.

    I do wish them luck because the more competition in the marketplace the better. I just think it is an uphill climb for any independent....but as you mentioned, they do have a nice head start on a company that would start from the ground up at this point. In any case, I doubt they will go out of business if this is a failure. I bet someone would scoop them up if the price was right.

    (As a side note, I read that the Echo would not be supported at launch and that "continue play" would not be available at launch. I may test it down the road, but I will wait for these two features to be added.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  16. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    "They" don't... and I don't foresee them (Alphabet/Amazon) doing so going forward. :(

    The tried and true Pandora Radio was and still is the market/body count leader; most worthy of a shared saddle. Since the Pandora brand has become Kleenex generic, it still makes sense to a point. But no way is any other (existing or new) "affiliate" going to give props and/or offer a "helping-hand" pipe to a fledgling on-demand direct competitor!
    Strange bedfellow biz indeed. ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  17. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    Yep...that's one of the features I eluded to that they chopped out of the beta. It worked OK so I dunno. My guess is that they want to streamline (baby step) as much of the code as possible during launch---> initial server "stampede". :idea:
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  18. jhoyt

    jhoyt Incomprehensible space llama

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    My big question About PP is if their library of available music to stream will be the same as everyone else's, or will they use their Pandora "radio library"? And another thing, will they stream in 320K AAC, Like Rdio, or just MP3?
     
  19. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    Yes. PP on-demand library is on par with all the other OD services. One "feature" unique to Pandora Media, Inc. is that they now have dual licencing.

    1. For the on-demand piece they have individual negotiated licences with all major labels and indies like all other on demand services. So 30-40 million tracks.
    2. Since their inception, Pandora also pays under a non-interactive service compulsory licence for Internet radio. This is a blanket licence that allows them to stream ANY song ever recorded/copyrighted; if they so choose.

    The "bonus" here, if you will, means that they can integrate/play songs in their station mode (non-downloadable, non-repeatable on-demand) that others do not have permission/rights to play. For example, the rights holder of Fleetwood Mac's Mystery to Me album have held out and have not licenced this album to be streamed on-demand, to any service that I know of (Spotify, Google Play, Amazon) Apple Music? <--probably not. Pandora and Pandora Premium on the other hand can & do play tracks from this album--on Station playlists. So, one could/can say that PP actually offers a vastly larger library that the others. ;)

    As for SQ, nothing official from Pandora as to tiers and bitrates, but I'm confident it's the same as the other guys. Remember, they did buy rdio's "tech" and they were at 320 AAC for their best quality. 96 and 192 for mobile and standard.
     
  20. jhoyt

    jhoyt Incomprehensible space llama

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    +48V, thanks for the clarification. I know that a couple music labels that I REALLY like (Cuneiform Records & ECM) have not released their music to streaming, as far as I can find. But I believe they can be found on Pandora radio. I was very much hoping that their license would extend to OD streaming as well.

    IS there a legitimate streaming site wherein to find ECM and Cuneiform music?
     

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