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Pandora quietly launches $15-a-month family plan

Plan echoes offerings from rivals Spotify and Apple Music.

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Pandora, best known for its digital radio, is now offering a $15-a-month family plan subscription tier like Spotify and Apple Music. 

Joan E. Solsman/CNET

Pandora has quietly launched a new family plan that allows up to six Pandora accounts to access premium features for $14.99 a month. That price roughly converts to £10 and AU$20.

The new subscription tier, called Premium Family Plan, mirrors similar offerings from rivals Spotify and Apple Music, letting customers choose their own music at higher quality audio without ads, create radio stations, customize playlists, download music for offline listening as well as skip and replay songs.

Listeners will also have access to Pandora's new personalized Sountrack playlists, a new offering unveiled last week. Music lists are generated based on what Pandora knows about an individual, its knowledge of music itself via its Music Genome Project, 75 algorithms built with machine learning and the expertise of the company's curatorial team.

Pandora users who subscribe through iTunes, Google Play, Roku or the Amazon Appstore won't have access to the new plan, the company says. To sign up, users will have to cancel their subscription, wait for it to expire and subscribe from a computer instead of a mobile device.

Pandora was an early leader of music streaming, but its digital version of radio was locked into rigid licensing rules that for years prevented listeners from picking exact songs to hear. In the meantime, newer competitors like Spotify and Apple Music struck more-flexible licensing deals, including Spotify's ability to let non-paying listeners pick their music on demand.

The new plan was first reported by Android Police.

Pandora didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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