Pandora and Spotify are both great and Famous music streaming services, built to help users find their favorite Songs and to discover tons of new music without having to put in much work.
The Pandora’s Music Genome Project revolutionize the music industry when it debuted in 2000, creating a new standard for online music streaming. Since then, numerous competitors have sprung up, with iHeartRadio, Last.fm, TuneIn, and more borrowing Pandora’s “radio station” model with varying degrees of success. In fact, Pandora has been so successful at radio-style programming that SiriusXM recently agreed to purchase it.
Spotify, has been conceived by two Swedish businessmen who simply wanted a way to listen to all their favorite music in the same place. The service debuted in 2008 and has since gone gangbusters, growing into one of the most successful on-demand music platforms in the world, with more than 140 million active daily users and more than 70 million paying monthly subscribers. While Apple Music is the only on-demand service that comes close to matching Spotify’s might, Pandora’s on-demand service offers even more reasons to give it a shot.
How about the Catalogs:
For Many years, Spotify enjoyed a massive lead in this category, Tons of millions of songs in an ever-growing library. For most of its existence, Pandora’s catalog included roughly 1 to 2 million songs, nothing to scoff at, but hardly a number capable of competing with Spotify or Apple Music. Following the acquisition of Rdio, however, Pandora inked deals with several major record labels and eventually launched Pandora Premium, its on-demand service. Spotify still has more music, owing mostly to remixes and covers you won’t find on Pandora, but the libraries are very comparable, and there aren’t any notable artists who appear on one service and not the other.
Some artists have exclusive deals in place with other platforms, while others prefer to keep their work away from streaming services entirely. All told, Spotify holds a slim lead in sheer numbers, but there is essentially no difference between the two here.
For The Social features:
There is no denying music’s incredible power to connect people. Realizing this is a valuable tool, Pandora and Spotify afford their users the ability to connect with friends, share their favorite songs, or simply recommend artists and playlists. However, these streaming clients differ vastly when it comes to comparing the social components of each service. Pandora’s rather lackluster attempt at social features essentially offers little to satisfy social media junkies. Users do have the ability to share their favorite stations across Facebook and Twitter, but because on-demand playback is locked behind a paywall, it feels fairly empty.
Spotify easily gets the nod in this category, providing users with a slew of options for sharing music and connecting with friends. Spotify users all have the ability to share individual songs, entire playlists, and even specific artists with any of their friends/followers on Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Skype, or Tumblr by simply clicking the three dots on the right. Spotify also added barcodes to songs, which you can scan with your phone for song data. The service also allows users to collaborate on playlists, and even make them public for anybody to follow. Simply put, Spotify wins this one easily.
The Music Catalog Discoverys:
Everybody wants to find musical diamonds in the rough, and a big part of a streaming platform’s value comes from its ability to help users find new tunes. Music discovery is the backbone of Pandora. The Music Genome Project we mentioned above is the engine that drives Pandora, offering the uncanny ability to provide listeners with songs they like based on a vast amount of variables. In addition to creating radio stations, the Music Genome Project helps to curate playlists (if you have Pandora Premium) by automatically adding music once you have selected a few songs.
Spotify is no slouch in this category, either, and the company has made acquisitions to get better at it over time. The extremely popular “Discover Weekly” playlist, a 30-song list that magically shows up each Monday, blends music you love with music you’re likely to love. Spotify is constantly adding similar features so you can keep discovering. Spotify’s home interface is also brimming with themed playlists, and you’re just one click away from the “Discover” tab, which features personalized recommendations based on your listening history. We’re still inclined to give Pandora the nod here, however. After all, music discovery is its primary function and its radio stations far outshine Spotify’s at present, but Spotify’s Discover Weekly feature is hard to beat.
Even if it existed for nearly twice as long, Pandora simply can’t compete with Spotify’s impressive versatility and usability. The recent introduction of Pandora Premium means users can listen to a massive collection of specific songs and albums at their pleasure, but Pandora is playing catch-up at this point, and it’s pretty far behind. Spotify has better social features, better apps, and more value for your dollar. If you’re constantly looking to expand your musical horizons and are in love with radio-style listening, Pandora is absolutely a reasonable investment, but in general, we recommend choosing Spotify.
And the winner is… Spotify.