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Pandora Opens Its Competition Box With New On-Demand Offering

Streaming music online is not unique to today’s consumer. From laptops and desktops to practically any smart device, consumers have had the ability to log in, tune in and turn up the virtual volume dial for years now.

The go-to phenomenon that has seen a significant increase over the past five years is the advent of on-demand streaming music. While we’ve seen Apple and Spotify vie for the top spot, Pandora has traditionally lagged a little behind. However, that is no longer the case.

This week, Pandora has announced its plans to offer an on-demand music service similar to that of its competitors in the space. This is a direct result of Pandora’s recent $75 million Rdio acquisition, which further expanded its user base. Existing Pandora listeners will have access to a free trial this month. After that, there will be a $9.99 per month fee where Pandora users will have the ability to listen to music on-demand and perhaps one of the more enticing aspects: access to offline playback.

One of the biggest downfalls of on-demand playback has typically been the need for Wi-Fi connectivity. This often results in either data overages with consumers’ smart device bills skyrocketing or reaching a data limit and not listening to music or using any other data services for the remainder of the month. Giving its users the ability to listen to music on demand without a Wi-Fi connection will only help boost Pandora’s customer base.

The question now is whether other on-demand music services will begin to follow suit by offering offline playback. With today’s consumers wanting what they want, when they want it and how they want it, it’s likely we’ll see more companies moving to give consumers control of their own experiences.

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