Pandora and Spotify are undeniably the most well-known music streaming service providers in the US. With both platforms, you can discover and stream music regardless of whether you’re using their free or paid services. However, there has been a raging debate for a while now about which one of these two popular services is worth the money and time. In this Spotify vs Pandora detailed comparison guide, I’ll show you all that it is two know about the two music streaming services.
For obvious reasons, application or site’s user interface can make or break the deal. The layout has to be beautiful and easy to navigate. So when it’s about Pandora vs. Spotify user interface, both of them nail it with stylish and easy to navigate platforms. To begin with, Spotify features a dark-themed interface that clearly displays all the necessary information, such as your profile details, albums, artists, playlists, and many more. You certainly won’t be overwhelmed by the Spotify home screen.
As for Pandora, the interface is equally impressive. With its easy-to-use platform, you can play your favorite music while making use of the intuitive controls. For example, users can sort radio stations either by date or alphabetically. You’ll also have seamless access to all the background information about the artist currently playing, recommended artists and songs, playlist, and many more.
First and foremost, both of these media streaming services offer free trials. However, you’ll be bombarded by many ads, and that’s why you should consider their paid options. So when it comes to Spotify vs. Pandora Premium, Pandora Premium undoubtedly puts up a great fight. With Pandora Premium, you’ll have to cough up $9.99 monthly with a 60-day free trial. You’ll also get 30-day free trial with the $4.99 a month Pandora Plus service. With Spotify Premium, you’ll also have to part with $9.99 a month although you’ll get a 30-day free trial period. So it’s evident that Pandora has the upper hand here.
To explain more, here is a detailed comparison table of Spotify Premium vs. Pandora Premium plans:
|Spotify Premium||Pandora Premium|
|Free Trial Length||30 days||60 days|
|Family Pricing||$14.99 per month for 6 accounts||$14.99 per month for 6 accounts|
|Student Pricing||$4.99 per month||$4.99 per month (includes Showtime and Hulu)|
|Military Pricing||N/A||$7.99 per month|
|Song Library||40 million-plus songs||40 million-plus songs (minus karaoke tracks, tributes, and covers.|
Note: Both services offer yearly membership discounts.
Next on our face-off list is Pandora vs Spotify sound quality comparison. Spotify streaming service incorporates the popular Ogg Vorbis format. With this format, users can listen to their favorite music in several bitrates options, including 24 Kbps, 96 Kbps, 160 Kbps, and 320 Kbps. So if you’re on a low cellular data budget, this Spotify will undoubtedly come in handy. By default, free users will stream at 128 Kbps while premium users stream at 256 Kbps.
On the other hand, Pandora’s streaming quality isn’t the best you can get out there. Free users are limited to a measly 64 Kbps streaming. This is exceptionally low-quality music, but that’s what you get with freebies. For premium users, Pandora offers AAC format streaming at 192 Kbps, which ranks among the industry’s lowest bitrate for paid subscribers. So in the Pandora vs Spotify sound quality comparison, Spotify easily carries the day.
For a while now, Spotify has been dominating the online music streaming scene with its over 20 million music catalog. In fact, I expect the number of songs in its library even to grow further. On the other hand, Pandora’s music library is non-existent with its one to two million songs. With this kind of song library, it’s tough for Pandora to even think of competing with Spotify.
On top of that, Spotify also offers a wide selection of covers and remixes, something that you can’t find in Pandora Premium. But all in all, both Pandora Premium and Spotify music library are comparable, although Spotify is the clear winner here.
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See also: How to Play Spotify Music on Apple Watch
Both Spotify and Pandora are compatible with Android, Windows, and Apple devices. And yes, they both have dedicated apps for Windows and Mac computers. In that case, you don’t have any excuse not to listen to your favorite music. That aside, the devices currently supported by these music streaming services include:
The above devices are just but a few that can be supported by these streaming services. You should, however, keep it in mind that integration is only limited to paid accounts.
To begin with, Pandora’s streaming service is currently limited to US users only due to licensing issues. Spotify, however, reaches dozens of territories and countries including UK, Japan, Germany, Hong Kong, Brazil, Canada, US, Oman, and many others. This is pretty surprising considering that Pandora has been on the industry earlier (since 2000).
Another thing, both of these music streaming services have listening limits. For free accounts, listeners are allowed to listen to their favorite music, though with lots of ads. This can be pretty annoying to the extent that some users quit using the services. To avoid this unwanted scenario, simply subscribe to one of their premium services.
Despite being in the game for nearly two decades, Pandora just can’t keep up with what Spotify has to offer in terms of usability and versatility. However, Pandora is trying to play catch-up with its recently introduced Pandora Premium. With this service, you’ll get an ads-free environment to listen to an extensive collection of albums and songs just like Spotify.
But again, Spotify edges out Pandora in many aspects except for the payment plans as we’ve already discussed. So if you’re looking for the perfect place to stream your favorite music or radio, Spotify is undoubtedly the better option of the two.