Drop, Pandora’s version of Spotify’s Radar Release playlist, provides a more customizable listening experience for users, eliminating ads.
What this means for marketers: On September 17th, Pandora announced the release of their newest listening experience: Pandora Drop. Previous listening experiences on Pandora required the use of different artist or genre playlists; however, Drop showcases the newest songs, in order of release date, that the Pandora algorithms have decided you are most likely to enjoy. This is being heavily compared to Spotify’s Radar Release playlist that curates 50 songs once a week for premium users, providing new songs they may not have heard yet. With Pandora having much slower year over year growth than Spotify, which was up 37% from 2017, this product seems to act to upsell free users who are less likely to pay for a Pandora subscription.
This new Drop playlist allows users to listen to a more on demand service with unlimited skips and no ads for just $10 per month. This is cheaper per month than Spotify and while Pandora users have historically strayed away from for paying for Pandora subscription (~30% of all users), this new playlist offering may be a competitive driver. With the Drop option being ad free, Pandora’s options for online audio and target audiences may decrease. This may shift the way Harmelin buys audio looking at Spotify more closely if the Pandora Drop product does in fact reduce the ad audience.