Pandora has become the latest music streaming service to sign a partnership with a telecoms company. Today (Aug. 15), Pandora announced a new deal with T-Mobile that would give the carrier's customers the option to access the Pandora Plus subscription streaming service for free for one year.
Pandora Plus is the streamer's mid-tier subscription offering, which generally costs $4.99/month for unlimited skips, replays and offline listening for its digital radio offering. It's full-service on-demand subscription tier, Pandora Premium, is priced at $9.99/month.
“We are committed to creating exciting new opportunities for more people to find, share and listen to the music they love,” Pandora CEO Roger Lynch said in a statement announcing the deal. “Through this exclusive offer, we will give T-Mobile’s massive customer-base access to one of our most in-demand offerings -- Pandora Plus. This is just the first step in a larger strategic partnership between T-Mobile and Pandora. Expect to hear more.”
The move is the latest in a string of partnerships between music streaming services and U.S. telecoms companies. In July, Tidal announced an extension of its partnership with Sprint that would include a free Tidal subscription bundled with its "unlimited plus" plan; just last week, Spotify and Samsung announced a partnership that would make the Swedish streaming service fully integrated into the hardware maker's phones, TVs, tablets and smart speakers; and Apple Music, of course, is incorporated into all of Apple's products and services, but it also just lined up a deal with Verizon to offer six months of Apple Music free of charge for its Verizon Unlimited customers. In April, T-Mobile and Sprint reached a $26.5 billion merger deal, though that proposal still awaits regulatory scrutiny.
The Pandora/T-Mobile deal marks the first step in a move to more closely align Pandora's 71 million monthly active users and T-Mobile's 76 million customers, as well as boost the streamer's subscription offerings, which it is betting on moving forward. Last month, Pandora announced it had 6 million subscribers across its Pandora Plus and Pandora Premium subscription plans, in an earnings call on which Lynch also promoted the service's bundled deal with AT&T. That partnership, unveiled in June, includes free on-demand access to either Pandora or Amazon Music.