Spotify VS Pandora: Which is worth your money?

These two music giants both have giant libraries, but which one is better?

By Tobias Estrella

Music is one of the most useful tools for students to concentrate, motivate, and inspire themselves. You can go to the library and always find someone working hard with earbuds in or in the parking lot the faint sound of bass from someone blasting their favorite jam in their car. However, what can sometimes make a difference is the app they use to source their music. While there are many options ranging all over the internet and app stores, from Soundcloud to Google Play, the two biggest players in the streaming industry seem to be Pandora and Spotify. So which is better?

First, the differences need to be accounted for. The basis of Pandora more like a radio where the user chooses a genre or artist they like and a seemingly infinite playlist is created from it. On the other hand, Spotify lets you pick specific songs or albums to download or listen to. Immediately, Spotify has the advantage since it gives the user more control and decision making, but Pandora does have the ease of use and accessibility for less enthusiastic users. 

Next, the library size also holds importance in that it refers to the number of songs you can find and listen to. Spotify wins this category by a large margin, having over thirty million songs whereas Pandora only has somewhere over one million. Since Spotify has more of a search and find type of listening experience, the library needs to significantly bigger so the user can find the exact song they are looking for. Pandora is more hands-off and gives the user music that matches their taste and is similar to their favorite songs. Since Spotify has built-in algorithms and millions of other users, it is just as easy for users to find playlists for discovering music. 

Sometimes, decisions ultimately come down to price. Pandora is only $4.99 a month for its premium subscription while Spotify doubles that at $9.99. However, Spotify seems to be the better buy for enthusiastic listeners since they can download music and find nearly all of their favorite artist’s music. Also, at the end of the year, Spotify gives users useful statistics about who they listened to and how much. On the other hand, Pandora is great for users who want a worry-free experience, a set and forget without ads.

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