Ad-free Pandora Plus launches to all, along with a new company logo

Pandora is not taking today’s debut of Amazon’s new, on-demand music streaming service lying down. The company has conveniently timed the launch of its own new paid tier, Pandora Plus, to coincide with that of Amazon Music Unlimited’s arrival. In addition, Pandora has announced a rebrand, including an updated “P” logo, which is meant to reflect the evolution underway at Pandora now, as it expands beyond radio to better compete with on-demand rivals like Spotify and Apple Music.

Pandora Plus was announced last month, as the mid-tier in Pandora’s new, three-tiered service. While it continues to make its free, ad-supported radio product available, the ad-free Pandora Plus allows listeners to pay $4.99 per month for a wider set of features, including the ability to skip more songs, more replays, and offline listening. The next step up will be more of a true on-demand streaming service, launching later in the year.

pandora_logo_with_bkgd_rbg_shadowCurrent customers who subscribe to Pandora One, the company’s prior paid service, will be automatically upgraded to Pandora Plus. The earlier service had only focused on eliminating ads, and had grown only to around 4 million users.

Overall, Pandora has 78.1 million users, and has seen slowing growth in the face of new rivals.

For comparison’s sake, Spotify announced last month it reached 40 million paid subscribers, up from 30 million in March. Apple Music, still a relative newcomer, said at its iPhone 7 event that 17 million people subscribe to Apple Music, up from 13 million reported in April.

Amazon Music Unlimited, which just launched today, is hoping to carve out its own niche by undercutting rivals. For Prime members, it’s only $7.99 per month – a couple of dollars less than the $9.99/month pricing for Apple and Spotify’s service. It also announced an Echo-only plan that’s a super cheap $3.99/month.

As for Pandora’s rebranding, that’s largely limited for now to the Pandora logo. Instead of the more defined and classic-looking “P” on a light gray background, the new one is a fatter “P” shape (with the hole filled in), in a brighter, lighter shade of blue, stamped on a stark white background.

Pandora says the new logo will appear first on mobile devices, starting today, and will then make its way to the web and elsewhere over the year.

Pandora Plus is also available to everyone beginning today.