Spotify vs. Pandora: What is the difference between Spotify and Pandora?

Spotify vs. Pandora: In This Article We Will Discover The Key Differences Between Spotify and Pandora, Their Similarities, And Answer Some Of The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Spotify vs. Pandora: Key Differences, Pros & Cons, FAQ

Spotify vs. Pandora: though both Spotify and Pandora are music streaming services, they are extremely different in their functioning. While Spotify allows you to choose the song or artist you want to listen to, Pandora allows you to create a radio station that plays songs according to the genres, artists, or songs you like.

Considering Spotify vs. Pandora definitions for deeper understanding

What is Spotify?

Spotify is a music streaming service that allows you to listen to a wide variety of songs, podcasts, and videos.

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What is Pandora?

Pandora is a music streaming service that allows you to create multiple stations according to the songs, genres, and artists you like. It then plays similar songs and you get to discover new music that matches your taste.

Listing the pros and cons of Spotify and Pandora for further differentiation

Pros of Spotify

  • Social sharing is extremely easy and unrestricted (even for the free version).
  • It has a unique third-party integration like that with Tinder or several GPS or workout apps. 
  • Many lesser-known indie artists are available on Spotify as it accepts practically everyone. 
  • It has a larger library of songs.

Cons of Spotify

  • For many, it might be a costly monthly music streaming service. 
  • It offers no military plan or discount. 
  • You get less opportunity to discover new unique music.

Pros of Pandora

  • Discovering new music with set preferences is possible and easiest with its exclusive algorithm.
  • It has an easy user-interface.
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Cons of Pandora

  • Social sharing is allowed only for paid subscribers.
  • It is available only for music lovers based in the US. 
  • The audio quality in the free version is extremely low.
  • It has a smaller library of songs.

Looking at the similarities between Pandora and Spotify

  • Both Spotify and Pandora offer free versions.
  • Both streaming services have audio advertisements in free subscriptions.  
  • Song skipping is permitted in both streaming services. 
  • Both offer web, mobile, and desktop apps.
  • Both services offer varying plans for students as well as families. 
  • Both are compatible with several devices.
  • Both allow users to download songs for offline listening. 
  • Both Spotify and Pandora have their audio-only podcasts. 

Does Spotify sound better than Pandora? 

Yes, with better audio quality, Spotify sounds much better than Pandora. Considering the Pandora premium vs. Spotify Premium audio quality, the former offers a maximum bitrate of 192 kbps while the latter offers up to 320 kbps. 

Which is the best music streaming service?

Spotify can be called the best music streaming service if we consider the market share it holds. It carries a 32% share of the total music subscribers of all the streaming services (Ref.1). 

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Is it worth paying for Pandora?

Yes, Pandora is an excellent music streaming service that lets you discover new songs based on your preferences and taste. If you love radio-style listening, paying for Pandora would be great satisfaction. A quick ‘Pandora vs. Spotify Reddit’ search would also reveal to you the experiences of the real users of these streaming services. They believe that paying for Spotify would be better if you are not inclined towards a radio kind of song experience.

Who has more songs: Apple or Spotify?

Apple has more songs with a library boasting of 60 million songs including exclusive deals with artists. Though Spotify lags, with 50 million songs, it still has an extensive music library. That dwarfs Pandora and explains the very basis of Pandora vs. Spotify vs. Apple Music.

Who Has More Music: Amazon or Spotify?

When it comes to library size, Amazon dwarfs Spotify with a few tens of millions. As per statistics, June 2020 saw Spotify hosting 50 million tracks against Amazon’s 60 million. And with exclusive deals regularly, Amazon has been adding music faster than Spotify. 

Differentiating between Spotify and Pandora in an easy to read manner

UsageSpotify is a streaming service with a huge catalog of songs played on-demand.Pandora is meant to find new songs based on your selected preferences rather than on-demand streaming. 
Launch yearIt was launched in 2008.It was launched in 2000.
AvailabilityIt is available in 118 countries at present and constantly expanding its presence.It is available only in the US.
Song selectionUsers can select songs they want to play.The song selection is not allowed in Pandora.
PlaylistsSpotify allows you to create unlimited playlists.You can make as much as just 100 playlists on Pandora. 
Library sizeSpotify has around 60 million songs, depending on the region. Pandora has a little over 30 million songs.
Free versionIt offers a free version with lower quality audio and advertisements.It also offers a free version with lower quality audio and advertisements.
Music discoveryThe popular ‘Discover Weekly’ playlist shows up with a 30-song list every Monday and brings you a mix of your favorite songs and newly discovered songs as per your taste.It uses its unique ‘Music Genome Project’ to understand your music taste and help you discover new songs that match your taste extremely well.
Audio qualityThe audio quality for free users is 160 kbps and for paid, 320 kbps.The audio quality for the free version is a meager 64 kbps. It is 192 kbps for the premium account.
Parental controlsSpotify lacks the ‘parental control’ feature.Pandora offers the much helpful ‘parental control’ feature.
Skipping songsOne can skip as many songs as one wants.Skipping songs comes with a big limitation; 6 skips/hour/station, with an upper limit of just 30 skips in all in a day. 
Free trial periodSpotify free trial is for 3 months.A Pandora free version is available for 2 months. 

Comparison Chart

Spotify vs. Pandora: In This Article We Will Discover The Key Differences Between Spotify and Pandora, Their Similarities, And Answer Some Of The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Comparison Video

Spotify vs Pandora

Which is better between Spotify and Pandora?

The above difference between Spotify and Pandora reveals that Spotify is better than Pandora in many aspects. With better sound quality, wider presence, possibility to create unlimited playlists, larger song collection, and availability of competitive pricing plans, paying for Spotify over Pandora would be a wiser decision when choosing between Spotify or Pandora.


Alex Stantor
Alex Stantor

Alex Stantor is a Sorbonne University (Paris, France) graduate in Philosophy and Data Analysis. Currently, he is an Author and Researcher at Difference 101, he writes articles/blog posts on topics such as "thinking differently" and "the importance of difference". Alex is a passionate advocate of diversity in the workplace and in companies, and diversity and inclusion in corporate communications. He currently lives in Brooklyn.

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