- Procter & Gamble partnered with streaming music platform Pandora on the launch of a family plan that offers ad-free music for up to 6 people on one monthly bill of $14.99. As the first brand partner for the subscription service, P&G is giving customers a free 60-day trial, according to a press release shared with Mobile Marketer.
- As part of the rollout of the new music service, Pandora is launching the "Our Soundtrack" feature that automatically generates a personalized shared playlist with weekly updates for each family.
- The family plans are open to new and existing Pandora listeners, which means that people who already have a Pandora account can transfer over their existing listener settings and saved music to the new plan.
For P&G, the family plan is a way to sweeten the deal for Pandora customers looking for a free two-month trial, while strengthening the brand's association with family-friendly products and services. Pandora, on the other hand, is looking to offer deeper discounts to parents and kids who want to stream music without listening to ads every few songs and lure more paying customers. Pandora was a pioneer in the internet radio industry and has faced growing competition from startups like Spotify and tech giants like Amazon, Apple and Google that have transitioned from selling individual song tracks and albums into similar subscription services.
Pandora's $14.99 monthly fee for the new family plan matches the price and features of similar sharing plans from Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music and Amazon Music. Pandora is looking to convert some of its 80 million monthly free listeners to paid subscribers, after introducing Pandora Premium in March 2017, per The Verge. People who already have Pandora Premium for $10 a month may see the value of paying 50% more to provide up to another five people in their family with the same ad-free, on-demand music streaming a solid way to cross-sell the higher level of the classic paid Pandora product.
Meanwhile, unless streaming services can find a way to differentiate their features and programming, the industry will continue to become commoditized and compete only on price. Apple Music, which has the advantage of being pre-installed on iPhones and iPads, signed up 40 million subscribers by mid-April this year after undergoing a major update last September, per Variety. Google reportedly plans to create a Spotify-like service called YouTube Remix that will replace its Google Play Music service. The launch of YouTube Remix will create a more unified brand for the company's streaming music services, which now include a mix of Google Play Music, ad-supported music videos on YouTube and an ad-free, paid tier of videos on YouTube Red.