Pandora Is Now Offering A $15 Premium Family Plan

The music streaming company quietly launched its $14.99 Premium Family Plan to take on Spotify and Apple Music.

Pandora is out to take on its rivals, Spotify and Apple Music, with its latest Premium Family plan. It was launched without much fanfare and was first spotted by Android Police.

Although not as popular as it once was, Pandora still has a sizeable user base. And it just launched a family plan for $14.99 per month to attract more paying subscribers. This plan gives up to six users unlimited music streaming, matching that of Apple Music.

With Pandora’s Premium Family plan, each user gets to enjoy all the perks of the regular Pandora Premium plan. All members would get their own account and own set of custom playlists and stations. They also enjoy offline listening, unlimited skips and access to high-quality audio without the annoying ads.

The company launched its Premium service in March but so far only has roughly about six million paid users. This pales in comparison to Spotify which has about 70 million paying subscribers. With this latest offering, it hopes to bring up its numbers.

Individual Premium accounts in Pandora costs $9.99 per month. If you have family members who also enjoy music, it makes much more sense to just go for the Premium Family plan.

 

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Disney Unveils a Giant Mechanical Suit for Pandora: World of Avatar Park

Disney introduces the latest addition to the Pandora: World of Avatar Park – a giant, walking mech suit.

(Credit: Disney)

Based on James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster Avatar, the 12-Acre park showcases the world of Pandora where the blue-skinned Avatars live. It gives visitors a chance to explore the fictional world’s impressive array of landscapes and creatures.

Disney just announced its latest addition to the park and it is definitely impressive.

It is a 10-feet tall, walking mechanical suit piloted by actors. A video posted on Disney Parks Blog showed off the giant suit in action.

Called the Pandora Utility Suit, the giant robotic suit will “tell the story of Pandora and their experience and what it’s like to be on this planet”. The human-controlled AMP suit will be walking through the Valley of Mo’ara and will interact with guests.

A Pandora Conservation Initiative (PCI) pilot will be using the suit to study the wildlife and collect plant samples. And because the “planet” is home to some wild creatures, it will also be necessary to “survive Pandora’s terrain.”

Show Director Tony Giordano shared his experience with the suit. “It was like Christmas when I saw the suit walk towards me, and [heard] the guy talking to me, telling me about Pandora.”

According to the blog, the utility suit was created in partnership with Lightstorm Entertainment, Disney Parks Live Entertainment, Michael Curry Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering.

The Utility Suit pilot in Pandora – The World of Avatar will start roaming the park on April 22.

Pandora Takes on Spotify With Their Personalised Playlists

Pandora’s new Premium service touts their personalised playlists to compete with Spotify at $10 per month.

(Credit: Pandora)
When you think of subscription music services, you’d probably think of Spotify or maybe Apple Music. Pandora wants to change that and they have something up their sleeves to help convince you.

The popular internet radio service provider just announced their own on-demand music service. Dubbed the Pandora Premium, the service offers personalised playlists and will cost you $10/month to subscribe.

So how exactly do they differ from the current crowd favourites Spotify or Apple Music?

All three offer streaming music services for roughly the same price. They allow you to create playlists or create custom radio stations based on your favourites. Songs or playlists can also be saved for offline listening.

What makes Pandora standout from the two is how they customise the music through their Music Genome Project. While Spotify learns your taste the more you use it and Apple Music makes you choose the music you like when you first use it, Pandora does it quite technically.

The Music Genome Project uses over 450 “genes” that describe different elements that make up a song. This can include the gender of the singer to the kind of instrument used. This data, together will their algorithms, automatic prediction methods and human curation, will help generate custom your playlists.

For example, if you have been listening to fast beat songs like dance and rock, Pandora will create a playlist called “Your Party Soundtrack” and so on. This will be updated every week with songs you listened as well as Pandora’s suggestions.

This service is still early on and there will probably be some hiccups. What’s good is that there are more and more players coming into the music streaming industry. Hopefully this will help drive companies lessen their subscription fees and make their services even better.

 

Roku adds Facebook, Flickr, Pandora and 7 others

Following their announcement late last month, set-top box maker Roku  announces 10 new content channels available in their newly-launched Channel Store.

For those who are not familiar with Roku, this is the company that makes a wireless device that allows content to be streamed directly to any TV screen from the web.

In addition to the existing three channels: Netflix, Amazon and MLB.TV, users now have access to channels including Facebook Photos, Flickr, TWiT, Blip.tv, FrameChannel,  Motionbox, Mobile Tribe, Pandora, Media Fly and Revision 3 – all for free.

Sorted by “new”, “most popular” and “top-rated”, users can choose which apps they would want to appear in the homescreen in the Channel Store. All current users of Roku can automatically access the app store once it becomes available over the next two weeks. New users of Roku will have to sign up for a free account to be able to avail of the service.

And don’t think they’ll stop there too. Representatives from Roku assured users that this is just the start. There will be more content channels constantly added starting now until the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

Source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10402856-1.html