Pandora has confirmed that its $9.99-a-month on-demand service will be unveiled on 6 December at an event in New York. CEO Tim Westergren revealed the plans in Pandora’s latest quarterly earnings call with analysts, with the new tier to be titled Pandora Premium.
“It will have all the features of Plus, so the rewinding, skipping, offline etc. But it will now include the ability to search and play, the ability to build and share playlists, taking everything offline and many, many more Pandora features that we can’t reveal now for competitive purposes,” said Westergren.
However, the actual launch of Pandora Premium will now be in early 2017. “And as we unveil in December, our plan is to then start to turn it on for listeners in early Q1,” said head of products Chris Phillips.
Another note of interest from the earnings call: last quarter, Pandora made $120m of upfront payments related to its direct licensing deals, and has committed to guarantees of around $700m over the next “several years” according to CFO Mike Herring.
“It is a fraction of what we will actually pay; it’s a fraction of what we pay today,” he said. “These are just prepayments against future royalty obligation that we plan to, and could even if the business stayed flat, well exceed.”