Pandora got is start as a streaming music service that lets you create personalized radio stations by entering an artist or track and then listening to a string of related songs, giving each a thumbs up or down to tune the station to your tastes.

But earlier this year the company launched Pandora Premium, a service that competes with Spotify, Apple Music, and similar services from Google and Amazon by letting you pay $10 per month to listen to any song you want, any time time you want.

Don’t want to pay $10, but still want to be able to just listen to a specific song rather than starting a station? Now you can do that by putting up with a 15 second video ad. In fact, once you’re done watching that ad, you basically get to use Pandora Premium for free for a limited period of time.

Pandora says the new offering lets you continue listening to uninterrupted, ad-free music for a set period. It’s sort of like getting a free trial to Pandora Premium to decide if you want to pony up the monthly fee to become a subscriber.

But Engadget reports that Pandora isn’t just treating this as a free trial… it’s also a way to give free users access to a feature they wouldn’t otherwise have (the ability to play a specific song on-demand), while acknowledging that some people are never going to become monthly subscribers.

Or you could just go play the song on YouTube. It’s probably there too.

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2 replies on “Pandora now lets free users listen to songs on-demand (after watching a 15 second ad)”

  1. I just figured out that I can upload my own music to Google Music and stream them like these services. Plus Google Music is included with Binge On – so really, unless I’m bored with my own collection, I’m a happy camper.

  2. I wonder what the time limit is. The other issue is that of course many people use the service someplace without a video screen.

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