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Pandora launches $14.99 Premium Family plan to counter Apple Music, Spotify

Pandora has launched a Premium Family plan that provides access to the music streaming service for up to six users priced at $15 per month, equalling the version offered by Apple Music.

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Under the Premium Family Plan, all six users have their own individual account, with one designated user paying $14.99 per month, or $164.89 annually. Each account is separate, allowing users to create their own playlists and radio stations in private and independently from all other users in the group.

The plan also retains all of the usual features from Pandora Premium, including the ability to download music for offline listening, skipping and replaying songs, higher-quality audio, and the removal of advertising.

While the Premium Family accounts are separate, the "Our Soundtrack" feature attempts to take into account the musical tastes of all group members, providing a regularly-updated playlist based on the collective listening habits of the group.

The new plan is an attractive proposition for families and groups who already have their own individual plans. The standard Premium subscription costs $9.99 per month, making the Premium Family service represent a saving of $4.99 per month for two users, rising to $44.95 saved if all six slots are used.

Pandora's group plan is the same as Apple Music's Family subscription in terms of cost and group size, while Spotify's version is limited to five users.

The new plan is likely to help Pandora increase its subscriber numbers, though it is unclear how much growth it will enjoy. According to its first quarter financial results, Pandora claims to have 5.63 million subscribers, up 19 percent year-on-year, with its revenue of $319.2 million also up 12 percent year-on-year, excluding revenue from its subsidiaries.

Pandora currently lags far behind market leader Spotify's 75 million subscribers as of May 2018, while Apple Music has passed the 50 million subscriber and trial user milestone.