Pandora began with a simple premise: Create online radio stations around a user-selected song, artist or genre. Users could create more than one of these stations at a time, and bounce between them as frequently as they wished with minor commercial breaks interspersed with the music.
Starting today, Pandora is ready to take that premise to the next level with a feature called The Drop that collects listening data from the music you listen to and creates an ever-updated playlist of new songs and artists that it thinks you’re going to like.
The feature is only available to Pandora Premium subscribers and, if it sounds familiar, it’s because it’s nearly identical to a Spotify feature called Release Radar that’s been available for some time on the streaming service which offers a curated list of 30 songs updated regularly that Spotify thinks you’re going to like.
While the similarities between the two features are obvious, there are some minor differences between Spotify and Pandora’s competing features like the fact that Pandora will store up to 100 songs in your personalized playlist at a time – making it over three times bigger than Spotify's playlist – but will only be available once you’ve listened to enough music on Pandora Premium.
The strategy here, it seems, is for Pandora to add some features that draws fans away from competing services and integrating them into its new premium service. New features plus more subscribers overall would be a huge win for the service which has been struggling since Spotify and Apple Music have moved into the space.
All that said, if you're looking for a new place to get fresh, vetted music in a 100-song playlist, it sounds like Pandora has your covered.