When comparing Pandora vs Spotify, the Slant community recommends Spotify for most people. In the question“What are the best music streaming services?” Spotify is ranked 1st while Pandora is ranked 6th. The most important reason people chose Spotify is:
Spotify has over 20 million songs and arguably the largest collection out of its competitors and usually has the fastest access to new music. The Spotify desktop client allows local music files to be imported with the option of syncing with a mobile device which largely mitigates the issue of missing artists.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Most personalized radio experience
The Pandora music streaming service is the best at predicting which songs the user would enjoy hearing. Unlike services which have rudimentary recommendation algorithms, Pandora uses over 400 selection attributes that are combined to form over 2,000 focus traits including rhythm syncopation, key tonality, harmonies, and instrumental proficiency.
Not only does Pandora use this plethora of conditions to determine each song's inclusion in your station, but it also displays the specific reason that each song was played, as well as its relation to your input criteria.
Pro Extremely versatile stations
Unlike other music streaming services, Pandora allows you to create a station from a single song, artist, album, or genre, and the service has a huge library of over 800,000 tracks from 80,000 artists.
More importantly, Pandora lets you mix and match an unlimited number of input criteria to create a station for any mood/style/occasion.
Pro Easily learns what you like and dislike
The Pandora music streaming service allows you to rate each song played with a "thumbs-up" or "thumbs-down" to signal your opinion of the song that is played. The station incorporates every single rating to intelligently learn your preferences over time, resulting in an extremely tailored station based on your input.
Pro Available on mobile and in vehicles
Pandora has an application on all major mobile platforms, including iOS, Android, and WP7. In addition, it is available in numerous vehicles as an add-on, many with voice commands.
Being available for free means anyone can try the service in order to see if it appeals.
Pro Predicts what you like with great accuracy
Pandora's music genome algorithms are eerily accurate to the point where it can be considered a personal DJ.
Pro Huge collection of music and fast access to newly released songs
Spotify has over 20 million songs and arguably the largest collection out of its competitors and usually has the fastest access to new music.
The Spotify desktop client allows local music files to be imported with the option of syncing with a mobile device which largely mitigates the issue of missing artists.
Pro Curated playlists
Public playlists on Spotify created by other people are great for finding new music.
Pro Weekly Discover playlist uses a great algorithm
A playlist generated by Spotify based on your listening habits and released every Monday. The algorithm used by this playlist is great and stands out from its competitors.
Pro Has a free version
A free, ad-supported account allows streaming from an extensive library of music.
Pro Client's functionality can be extended via third-party apps
Pro Related artists
Con Not available outside the US
For those that live outside the US, the service is not available to them, which greatly limits users from around the globe.
Con Limited skips
Pandora makes it very difficult by limiting your playlist to only a specific song or artist. The player also does not allow you to rewind or repeat any songs.
You are only granted six skips per station per hour, and even this is limited to 72 skips per user per day. This is often frustrating if you are trying to focus your playlist on a very specific music selection.
Con Frequent advertisements
The free version of Pandora has frequent audio advertisements that are injected every few songs, making the service impossible to use in a party-type setting. However, these can be avoided by paying for the premium edition or by using other ad-blocking software.
Con Rips artists off
Only Youtube pays artists less than Pandora. Spotify has been under fire for not paying artists enough, at $0.0044 / play (as of march 2018). Well, Pandora pays less than 3 times that! ($0.0013). Tidal pays artists roughly 10 times more ($0.0125).
Con Limited artists
There are only 1 million songs on the service. This means there are a lot of artists missing.
Con Limited bitrate
Most songs played on Pandora Radio are 128 kpbs bitrate. That being said, the paid version of the service offers songs with a bitrate of 192 kbps.
Con Discovery is terrible
The discovery algorithm is poor and does not learn fast enough. Not obvious how to train it.
Con Free account have lots of ads
If you hate commercials, you would buy Premium or go on using something else.
Con Poor audio quality
There's a high range of bitrates and most of vary from average to bad.