Spotify vs. Pandora: Which Music Streaming Servic
If you 8217;re a music lover, both services are certainly worth using, but if you 8217;re considering upgrading to paid tiers like Spotify Unlimited or Pandora Premium, you will want to know what you 8217;re getting for your hard-earned cash. We pit Spotify and Pandora against each other to help you decide which is right for you.
Spotify 8217;s 40 million track count still trumps Pandora by a slight margin, though it owes that feat mostly to remixes, covers, original content, and amateur artists 8212; but the libraries are very comparable, and there aren 8217;t any notable artists who appear on one service and not the other. Some artists have exclusive deals in place with other platforms, while others prefer to keep their work away from streaming services entirely. All told, Spotify holds a slim lead in sheer numbers, but there is essentially no difference between the two here.
There is no denying music 8217;s incredible power to connect people. Realizing the invaluable worth of friendship, Pandora and Spotify afford their users the ability to connect with friends, share their favorite songs, or simply recommend artists and playlists. However, these streaming clients differ vastly when it comes to comparing the social components of each service. Pandora 8217;s rather lackluster attempt at social features essentially offers little to satisfy social media junkies. Users do have the ability to share their favorite stations across Facebook and Twitter, but because on-demand playback is locked behind a paywall, it feels fairly empty.
Everybody wants to find musical diamonds in the rough, and a big part of a streaming platform 8217;s value comes from its ability to help users find new tunes. Music discovery is the backbone of Pandora. The Music Genome Project we mentioned above is the engine that drives Pandora, offering the uncanny ability to provide listeners with songs they like based on a vast amount of variables, down to the unique cocktail of instruments, vocals, and pacing that make the song what it is. In addition to creating radio stations, the Music Genome Project helps to curate playlists (if you have Pandora Premium) by automatically adding music once you have selected a few songs.
Spotify is no slouch in this category either, and the company has made acquisitions to get better at it over time. The extremely popular 8220;Discover Weekly 8221; playlist, a 30-song list that magically shows up each Monday, blends music you love with music you 8217;re likely to love. Spotify is constantly adding similar features so you can keep discovering. Spotify 8217;s home interface is also brimming with themed playlists, and you 8217;re just one click away from the 8220;Discover 8221; tab, which features personalized recommendations based on your listening history.
We 8217;re still inclined to give Pandora the nod here, however. After all, music discovery is its primary function and its radio stations far outshine Spotify 8217;s, which too often seems to blend genres and repeat tracks.
This streaming game began with music, but eventually, both Spotify and Pandora thought it wise to incorporate another audio-only format into their platforms: podcasts. Most popular podcasts can be found on either platform, and they both have their share of unique exclusives to secure the edge, but Spotify 8217;s status as the dominant market leader has predictably shifted the early numbers of this relatively infantile market in its direction. This has led to more ubiquity for Spotify, whose logo is consistently spotted among the top shows 8217; list of official destinations. Add in a big sports push set to come thanks to its acquisition of The Ringer, and Spotify gets the nod.
Both services offer free 8212; albeit limited 8212; access to streaming music supported by occasional ad breaks. The ads aren 8217;t overwhelming, and the free offerings provide a great way to test-drive these services before splurging on a premium account, but these services differ greatly.
With a free Pandora account, subscribers are limited to radio functionality 8212; pick a song (or an artist, or an album, or any combination), and it builds you a station. Hit the 8220;thumbs up 8221; button to tell Pandora to play similar music in the future, and hit the 8220;thumbs down 8221; button to make sure you never hear that song (or songs like it) again. Moreover, users of free options only have access to a lower-quality audio stream (limited to 64k AAC at best), and aren 8217;t afforded the luxury of downloading a desktop client like users of Pandora Plus or Pandora Premium. Both mobile and web users have access to similar features 8212; the same amount of skipped songs, the same available stations, and the same occasional advertisement.
For Spotify users, the free experience is far more robust. The ads are here, too 8212; as is the loss in audio quality 8212; but with a free Spotify account, you can listen to music on-demand via the desktop and web apps (mobile users are limited to on-demand listening from 15 playlists that Spotify generates based on their taste every 24 hours).
You can also try the ad-free versions of each service for free. Standardly, Pandora offers a 60-day free trial of its $10 per month Pandora Premium service (which includes ad-free radio and on-demand streaming), 30 free days of its $5 per month Pandora Plus service (ad-free radio stations, but no on-demand streaming), while Spotify offers a free 30-day trial of its $10 per month Spotify Premium service (on-demand listening and radio stations). Both services also offer a discount for a yearly membership.
While Spotify may offer better choices for freebie chasers, Pandora 8217;s $5 per month tier is a killer option for those who want to rock out to quality tunes free of ads, but don 8217;t have the scratch to shell out the full $10 per month. Families up to six can sign up for $15 per month on either service, while sizable half-off discounts await students and, in Pandora 8217;s case, military veterans.
Both Spotify and Pandora have regular promotions for three months 8217; access for no more than $1, giving you more than enough wiggle room to see all they have to offer. You 8217;ll regularly see promotions tied to device purchases and other companies, too, such as the six months of free Spotify you get for being an AT&T subscriber. Pandora doesn 8217;t do nearly as much in that regard, but you 8217;ll see decent deals on occasion.
With very little deviance from the music streaming pricing playbook that everyone else seems to follow, this should be a wash. That said, if you want to go ad-free with Spotify, you 8217;ll have to pay at least $10 per month, which gives Pandora an automatic win.
No matter which way you listen, you will have access to background information on the artist currently playing, lyrics, listings of similar artists, and links for users to quickly buy any song that strikes their fancy, not to mention how cool it is to see all of the track 8217;s traits as defined by the Music Genome Project. 8220;Browse 8221; and 8220;My stations 8221; sections allow you to quickly switch between listening and discovering.
You can also use your voice to control Pandora on your phone, even from across the room 8212; no Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, or hands required. (Note that Pandora also supports Alexa.) Commands such as 8220;Hey, Pandora, play something awesome, 8221; 8220;Hey, Pandora, thumb up this song, 8221; and 8220;Hey, Pandora, pause, 8221; all work once you enable Pandora 8217;s voice assistant feature on iOS or Android.
There 8217;s no denying that Spotify offers users a more well-rounded user experience, and its solid platform and slick interface make it an even more attractive option. Pandora 8217;s no slouch 8212; and its hands-free voice control is pretty slick 8212; but Spotify reigns supreme here.
We talked about mobile and desktop apps above, but what about other platforms? Both Spotify and Pandora enjoy widespread integration as part of vehicles, TVs, smart speakers, gaming consoles, wearables, and other computing systems and connected devices, as well as within several third-party GPS and workout apps. However, Spotify earns the edge as its reach stretches just a bit further. For instance, while both Spotify and Pandora have Xbox One apps, you can only find the former on PlayStation 4. Spotify 8217;s Connect feature makes these integrations a lot more pleasant to use, to boot. You can start listening on desktop and seamlessly transition to mobile whenever you hit the road, keeping your place in the tracks and playlists all the same.
Despite having existed for nearly twice as long, Pandora simply can 8217;t keep up with Spotify 8217;s impressive versatility and usability, though that may be attributed to its ongoing development of the Music Genome Project. The introduction of Pandora Premium ushered in a new area for the service and made it viable among standouts of the music streamers, but Pandora is playing catch-up at this point, and it 8217;s pretty far behind. Spotify has better social features, better apps, and more value for your dollar. If you 8217;re constantly looking to expand your musical horizons and are in love with its powerful radio-style listening, Pandora is absolutely the most reasonable investment, but it 8217;s not beating Spotify.
Overall winner: Spotify标签：