Pandora Plus vs. Premium

Pandora entered the scene in 2005 and quickly grew into one of the first startups to revolutionize the music streaming industry. Since then, SiriusXM’s acquisition of Pandora has bolstered the streaming giant.

Pandora Plus took over Pandora One as an ad-free, unlimited-skips alternative to its predecessor. Yet, when compared to competitors, critics were left anticipating a more robust option. In 2017, they received their answer with Pandora Premium.  

A comparison of Pandora packages

Both Pandora packages include ad-free personalized stations with unlimited skips and replays for easy listening. 

Pandora Plus Pandora Premium
Monthly price$4.99/mo.$9.99/mo.
Additional plansN/AFamily – $14.99/mo.
Military – $7.99/mo.
Student – $4.99/mo.
Annual price$54.89/year$109.89/year
Number of songs40 million+40 million+
Number of podcasts1,000+1,000+
Free trial length30 days60 days
Offline listening4 stationsUnlimited
Special featuresAd-free listening, unlimited skips and replaysAd-free listening, downloadable songs, unlimited skips and replays

Pandora Plus vs. Pandora Premium cost

Pandora favors its Premium package by offering an immense 60-day free trial, doubling its 30-day free trial for Plus.

Is Pandora Plus worth it? The cheaper of the two plans, Plus, provides a moderate experience for the affordable price of $4.99/mo. or $54.99/year. At $14.99/mo., Pandora Premium matches Spotify Premium’s family discount in both price and its six-member account. Families can keep their music in individual profiles and share playlists with ease. 

Pandora also matches competitors with its student discount at $4.99/mo.  

However, Pandora provides a standout perk for active military and veterans with a 20% discount coming in at just $7.99/mo. 

Which Pandora package is right for you? 

What is Pandora Plus? Pandora Plus is the more basic package offering available on Pandora. However, if you want to avoid ads and don’t mind blind-skipping, Pandora Plus’ algorithm will reward you with songs and artists that otherwise may have never crossed your path. That means more new music to discover. 

What is Pandora Premium? Pandora Premium improves on the foundational features Pandora Plus has to offer music streamers. This package is meant to rival competitors such as Spotify Premium and Apple Music. It’s worth your consideration given its unlimited downloads and playlist features. 

User experience

Pandora revamped its mobile app, creating an all-new dynamic experience. Now, it’s closer to the web browser interface, providing a sleeker, more tuned-in design. Pandora configures your clicks by day, week and even time of day to best serve you. 

Pandora also offers a desktop app that streamlines the service, going so far as to provide keyboard controls to maximize its usability.

Device compatibility

Both Pandora Plus and Premium are compatible with iOS and Android phones and pair with any Bluetooth or casting device. Also, uniquely compatible with Pandora is SiriusXM. Both platforms prop up one another with playlists curating the best podcasts and hottest tracks. 

Pandora is compatible with the following devices:

  • App integrations
  • Audio streamers
  • Car audio (Bluetooth or a cable adapter)
  • Xbox
  • Smart displays
  • Smart speakers
  • Smart TVs
  • Smartphones
  • Wearables
  • Wireless speakers

Pandora personalization

By adding new personalized features to discover new music, Pandora Plus and Premium have made it easier for you to take advantage of its vast library. Its layout furnishes a For You tab similar to Apple Music. The app updates throughout the day based on your listening history.  

To seriously customize your experience, take advantage of the interesting extensions and add-ons available through the chrome web store. These neat extras facilitate hands-on use while downloading tracks and assist with locating music videos on YouTube. 

Pandora extras

Pandora’s web browser interface offers a “modes” feature that lets you customize stations like Deep CutsDiscovery and Crowd Faves. The mobile app provides the same personalized benefits, streamlining both mobile and desktop experiences.

The disadvantages

Pandora Plus and Premium don’t stack up toe-to-toe with other competitors. Ultimately, a major breaking point for many is Pandora’s inability to stream outside the US without a workaround. Due to this, you’re stuck with your downloaded music while abroad, which reduces the service’s streaming capabilities. 

How to upgrade from a free trial

You can upgrade in a cinch. Here’s what the process looks like: 

  1. If you’re using iOS, select your menu icon. 
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Find and tap Upgrade

The same process works for Google Play. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to upgrade through the Amazon Appstore or Roku. Instead, you must upgrade directly through your Pandora app. 

The takeaway

Pandora’s recent merger with SiriusXM gives the streaming giant some much-needed support in its future development. Even though Pandora and both its Plus and Premium packages face an uphill battle, the company has built a dedicated and reliable subscriber base that’ll help keep it afloat. SiriusXM’s game-changing decision allows you to personalize stations, and one can only speculate about experience-enhancing upgrades to come. 

Zack Kulm

Contributing Writer

Zack Kulm is a writer and contributor of soda.com. He covers a variety of topics from entertainment and gaming technologies to pop culture commentary. Kulm received a degree in English from Penn State University and Film Studies from Pittsburgh Filmmakers Institute. He also produces award-winning documentaries.