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Pandora rolls out $4.99 premium service, Apple isn’t buying TIDAL

on September 15, 2016, 11:40am

An update from the front lines of the streaming music wars, a.k.a. our World War 3. Yesterday brought news of a major milestone for Spotify, as the company crossed the threshold of 40-million paid subscribers. An additional sixty million individuals use Spotify’s freemium service.

The world’s second largest streaming service, Pandora, currently boasts 77-million active users, but fewer than four million of those people pay for the $5-per-month ad-free tier. Pandora hopes to change that with its newly launched subscription model, Pandora Plus. The $5-per-month price-point remains, but Pandora touts newer features, including more skips, more replays, and offline listening.

What’s more, Pandora intends to launch its own on-demand streaming service later this year. (Currently, users are able to custom radio stations around their favorite artists.)

Apple Music, meanwhile, has relied heavily on exclusive releases to build its user base to 17-million active listeners (all of who pay for the service). There were reports that Apple also intended to purchase Jay Z’s hi-fi streaming service, TIDAL, which boasts its own treasure trove of exclusive releases and four-million paid subscribers. However, according to Apple Music head Jimmy Iovine, the company is “not looking to acquire any streaming services, telling Buzzfeed, “We’re really running our own race.”

It’s another big blow for Jay Z, who previously sought to sell the hemorrhaging TIDAL to Samsung and Rhapsody to no avail.

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