Though music services like Spotify and Apple Music tend to garner the most attention in the tech press, it’s sometimes easy to forget that Pandora is not only alive and kicking, but still extremely popular. In fact, one survey we saw earlier this year found that Pandora was actually used more often than Apple Music and Spotify combined.
Pandora’s impressive user base aside, the streaming site’s financial woes remain an ongoing concern as the company has been losing money for quite some time now. In an effort to shake things up, you might recall that Pandora late last year took the wraps off of Pandora Premium, an on-demand music service that went live this past March.
In a recent effort to give some of Pandora’s ad-based users a taste of the Pandora Premium experience, the company today announced that users on the company’s free tier can enjoy Pandora Premium for a limited-time simply by watching a 15-second video ad.
Starting today, when non-premium users search for a specific song (the most common way to start new Pandora stations), album or playlist, you can opt-in to watch an ad, which then lets you listen to your selection straight away. And after that, you can browse the entire catalog and look for more songs you want to listen to; the preview extends beyond just a single song. For the first listen, users will get an audio interstitial explaining that they’re getting preview of the premium experience.
At this point it remains unclear how long the grace period will last, with Pandora noting that it will conduct some A/B testing before reaching a conclusion.