Pandora Premium takes on Spotify and Apple Music

With a subscription of course

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Pandora officially announced the Pandora Premium service this week, the company’s first ever on-demand streaming tier. Invites for a free-trial of Pandora Premium will rollout to select listeners on March 15 and an option to upgrade will be available to all listeners over the coming weeks.

The music-subscription service will cost $9.99 a month, and will combine Pandora’s personalized radio with the ability to search and play any track or album. The service will also allow users to easily create a unique set of playlists, all tailored to each person’s distinct preferences.

“Every day tens of millions of people trust us to choose the exact right songs for them. That’s why they spend more time with Pandora than any other music service,” said Tim Westergren, founder and CEO of Pandora. “With Premium, we’re leveraging our immense trove of data and everything we’ve learned about personalization to offer a listening experience that sets a new standard for what a music service should be.”

Pandora listeners who start a trial will see all of their stations and thumbed up songs, and will enjoy a new “Now Playing” experience. Users will notice that the “Now Playing” screen pulls a signature color from the album art and changes as each track plays. Playlists can easily star a playlist with just one or two of their favorite songs. Users can simply tap “Add Similar Songs” and Pandora’s Music Genome Project will create a playlist on the fly.

The new service will also bring all of your ‘thumbs up’ songs straight to the “My Thumbs Up” playlist. Thumb up a few tracks on any Pandora radio station and Premium will automatically create a new playlist of these songs.

Just like with other streaming services, you will also be able to download albums, songs stations or playlists straight to your device. The company also stated that existing Pandora Plus subscribers will enjoy six months of Premium for no additional charge.