Pandora isn't a huge name globally, but in the US, the music streaming service commands a massive audience, and its free, ad-supported model enables it to serve targeted audio and display ads to its 75m monthly active listeners.
Currently, Pandora offers personalised 'radio stations' built around a particular artist or genre and based on user preferences, but according to the Wall Street Journal, the company is close to signing a deal that will see it launch a more conventional streaming service similar to Spotify and Apple Music.
The move has been predicted ever since Pandora acquired technology and intellectual property from former rival Rdio, which shut down in 2015, but the company's plans now seem to have cemented, with a new streaming service set to launch within the next month.
Pandora's free radio-style service will remain in operation, but a new model with a monthly subscription fee will also be available that will offer ad-free streaming where users can pick and choose which track to listen to.
Pandora also has plans to add more perks to its existing $5 (£3.80) a month subscription model, which retains the radio-style streaming but removes adverts for listeners. Quite what these perks will be, and what features the new streaming service will offer, have yet to be revealed.
While the addition of a conventional streaming service will rob Pandora of some of what distinguished it from rivals like Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music, the massive audience it already commands through its free service could easily be converted into subscribers and instantly make the firm an even bigger player in the music streaming market.
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