Pandora Plus launches, on demand subscription coming later this year

Just as rumors earlier this week foretold, Pandora has launched a new $5 monthly subscription service called Pandora Plus. This new service is replacing Pandora One, and it's offering a few improvements over its predecessor as well. These come in the form of more skips, more replays, and a new offline listening mode. Paying subscribers aren't the only ones getting some new perks, however, as Pandora is also offering some additional options for free listeners.

First, though, Pandora Plus: while getting more skips and replays are big benefit to the $5 fee, this new offline mode will definitely catch some attention. Pandora chief product officer Chris Phillips calls the mode "ingenious," saying that it "automatically detects when you lose signal and switches to one of your top stations that Pandora knows you love. No effort required. It just keeps playing."

Free users aren't being left out in the cold with this update, as Pandora is rolling out a new advertising option for them. Free users can now opt to view video ads instead of traditional radio ads, and in doing so, they'll earn extra skips and replays. It's not the most exciting update in the world, but the ability to earn additional skips and replays is nice nonetheless.

Pandora Plus and this new ad feature for free listeners are both launching today and will be rolling out to iOS and Android users in the coming months, the company said. Those who have an existing Pandora One subscription will be transitioned to Pandora Plus with no extra effort on their part.

Finally, Pandora confirmed previous rumors that claimed the company would soon be launching another tier of its premium service. Pandora CEO Tim Westergren said the company will be offering an on demand listening service later on this year, but failed to give pricing or release info. Still, it seems safe to assume that this new on demand subscription will cost the somewhere around $10 a month, bringing Pandroa in line with rivals like Spotify. If it's launching before the end of the year, we should be getting more information about it soon, so stay tuned.