Spotify vs. Pandora

Enjoying music is definitely popular with people, so it’s just normal for music to turn out to be more and more common in our lives as our technology for it develops. Having the number of smart phones and computers used on a daily basis right now, music has become more obtainable than ever before and very much a normal part of our lives. There are a lot of various ways that people could enjoy their tunes with phones and computers, and two of the most popular music applications, Spotify and Pandora, deliver their product using pretty different ways.


Today’s infographic from Mashable provides us a look at the history of Spotify and Pandora plus the positive qualities and drawbacks for each. For example, Spotify boasts an amazing library of over 20 million songs to select from, but the service is only free for 6 months and then users could only listen to 10 hours per month free of charge. At the same time, Pandora’s setup enables users to discover and listen to new music, which is wonderful, but there is also no way to rewind or repeat tracks that you might wish to listen to again.

For more information for Spotify and Pandora take a look at the infographic below.


This is just like comparing apples to oranges, mostly simply because Spotify’s free service may come as a desktop application as standard, although the free version of Pandora is utilized online. Although both also have mobile applications that are simple to navigate and enjoyable on the eyes, it’s Spotify’s desktop user interface that truly stands out. With an appearance similar to iTunes, the Spotify desktop player is minimalist but shows an amazing amount of information. Pandora, however, is accessed via the web. Compared to Spotify, Pandora’s free music streamer looks a bit washed out color-wise and the interface can at times be complicated to navigate. Users could also effortlessly alter the Spotify interface size, whereas minimizing Pandora requires resizing the browser in which it’s being viewed.

Result: When it comes to a sleek, easy-to-navigate user interface, Spotify wins hands down.

Music Inventory

Most head-to-head category winners turn out being based on subjective personal choices. The music inventory category is some more cut and dry though, as it’s according to the numbers that both music services self-report. Pandora’s FAQ says that it has a catalog of more than 800,000 songs. Spotify, however, boasts 15 million unique tracks available to enjoy!

Result: The winner is obvious. Spotify blows Pandora right out of the water in terms of having a larger catalog of available music to stream.

Social Functions

Nowadays, sharing your preferred new music discoveries is nearly as essential as enjoying them on your own. Therefore, you’re going to desire to be able to let friends know when you have found a wonderful new band or song. Pandora allows users connect by Facebook therefore you could see what your friends are enjoying. The connection function only extends to your American friends however, as Pandora isn’t available across the pond.

Spotify provides Facebook connect, along with connection options through Twitter and Windows Live Messenger. Actually, Spotify not just allows users log in through their Facebook accounts, but also enables them to see and enjoy any playlists their friends have created. If that weren’t sufficient, Spotify has an integrated inbox where you could connect with other users by their Spotify username. You could even send people tracks you own therefore they could enjoy your favorite songs without needing to search through Spotify’s catalog. Beyond this, Spotify has been obtainable in Europe for almost 3 years now, meaning you can share with friends in the U.S. or overseas to your own heart’s content.

Result: As Pandora’s service is a one-trick pony in terms of social connections, Spotify’s myriad of social network choices and unique inbox feature provide it an simple win in this category.

Free Version Functions

If you wish to enjoy music for free, you have to be willing to cope with ads. Regrettably, both Pandora’s and Spotify’s ads are intrusive, irritating and repetitive. Expect an ad while enjoying Pandora about once every three songs. Spotify’s more of a combined bag, but I often realized that the ads appeared to force-stop my music listening experience, requiring me to restart my playlist every Ten minutes. This was just an occasional occurrence but it was an annoying one nonetheless.

When it comes to free plan restrictions, Pandora also limits the quantity of times you could skip music on a station before you’re necessary to actually enjoy one all the way through. Spotify doesn’t do this, but it has its own number of restrictions. For the first 6 months, users are restricted to 20 hours of music streaming monthly. Next, the limit drops to 10 hours per month and you won’t be able to enjoy that favorite track of yours over five times.

Result: Both services have irritating ads and limit your ability to enjoy the music you want in some manner. Pandora’s restrictions on skipping tracks are far less restricting than Spotify’s track replay and hour limits however, therefore it gets the win in this category.

Paid Features

If needing to enjoy ads in between songs is too much of an irritation, both Pandora and Spotify provide paid options that allow you to avoid ads and access additional music streaming perks. Pandora’s paid version is known as Pandora One. It provides users the option to set up a convenient desktop application, has unlimited licensing, better audio quality and the ability to skip tracks more often than in the free version, all for either $6 each month or $36 per year.

Spotify truly has two paid options: an limitless plan for $4.99 per month and a premium plan for $9.99 per month. The limitless plan eliminates audio and visual ads, as well as offers you entirely unrestricted use of music on the desktop application. The premium plan offers you access to Spotify’s music catalog on a mobile gadget or tablet, as well as the functions offered in the unrestricted plan. Another large perk of the high quality plans is that you are able to enjoy your playlist music when you’re offline. In addition you get access to unique content like album launches immediately.

Result: This is a difficult category to judge, thinking about the paid functions for both providers vary so drastically. Having Pandora’s paid service, you get a desktop application that already comes free with Spotify’s unpaid version, for instance. But you can’t access Spotify’s mobile application without a premium plan, whereas Pandora’s mobile application is available to unpaid users . When it comes to cost though, you truly can’t beat Pandora’s $36 a year. Spotify’s plans both cost substantially more. Except if you’re specifically intending to use the functions that come along with those plans, Pandora’s a much better deal financially.


Finally, it truly depends upon how you plan to use your own music streaming support to determine if Spotify or Pandora comes out on top. If you’re on a budget but desire to eliminate ads and discover new songs, Pandora’s the clear winner. If money isn’t as much of a concern or if you’re interested in connecting with friends to find new music and make personalized playlists, Spotify is the hands down winner. When it comes to usability and number of functions offered, Spotify’s also got a leg up.

Spotify is unparalleled, which makes it a winner for track searching, exclusive content and music sharing and discovery among friends, but for some functions, you should be willing to pay the price.