Pandora Vs Spotify. What Should I Choose?

by Zara Mohammed, Lifestyle Columnist

Published in Lifestyle on 31st July, 2019

Pandora and Spotify are popular music streaming services that help you to find your favourite tunes and discover new ones easily. However, these are two services that work very differently. Keep reading to find out some of the key differences and decide which one is the best one for you.

Pandora's Key Features

Pandora is essentially radio streaming, and it is completely free. The platform offers a personalised user experience by enabling you to create up to 100 radio stations based on your favourite music, including your favourite artists, songs and albums. For this reason it is seen as a great platform for music discovery and music curating.


Pandora takes us back to the days when we just popped the radio on and listened to songs selected for us in a random order, providing variety and unpredictability. It is a great music streaming service if you prefer that traditional radio experience, rather than listening to the songs you have personally chosen.

Pandora has the added benefit of being intelligent, so it learns about your music tastes the more you click like or dislike for your favourite and not so favourite songs, and it will offer you new songs that it thinks you will enjoy. Basically the more feedback and information you give it, the more Pandora will learn and be able to curate a listening experience to match your tastes more and more closely.

The downside of the service is that because it is free, like most free services online, it is ad supported. Pandora also only provides a limited number of track skips, so if you are the kind of person who likes to have greater control over what you are listening to, then you may find this drawback irritating.

You can of course take advantage of Pandora's paid subscription option to remove the ads for a more streamlined aesthetic user experience, while enjoying more skips per hour, and with unlimited stations.

Pandora does allow you to bookmark your favourite tracks when they play, although you won't be able to download them to listen on other devices. It does mean that you can save your faves and purchase them if you like, or alternatively start a new channel based on your favourite songs. If you get tired of listening to a certain song you have the added bonus of being able to flag it so that Pandora doesn't keep looping it into your playlist.

Spotify's Key Features

Spotify is a popular music streaming service that is easy to get started on with minimum commitment. Simply sign up for free using your email address or connect with Facebook. It gives you access to millions of artists from all across the world, including songs, podcasts and videos. The free version, like Pandora, is of course ad supported.

When you sign up with Facebook a fun feature is that you can more easily find and follow your friends so that you can see what they are listening to and share songs, or tease them about their music tastes. When you choose a subscription level you get access to more features, like connecting your Spotify account to more of your devices so that you listen to music wherever you are. You can also save music to listen to it offline.


There are many similarities to Pandora, for example, Spotify becomes more intelligent the more you use it, better tailoring your user experience and making it easier for you to discover and enjoy what you like to listen to. You can also create your own playlists easily.

Spotify is perfect for listeners who already know what they love and prefer to have more control. Spotify also supports unlimited song skips, which is ideal when you know what you want and really don't want to listen to.

Which Is Better? Spotify Or Pandora?

Determining which music streaming platform is better is obviously going to be a personal preference, but here are some points that other people have picked up on when comparing the two.

  • In one person's opinion Pandora plays more relevant music than Spotify.
  • It has been pointed out that Spotify has significantly less ads.
  • The songs you like on Spotify automatically go into a playlist, and these can be customised further. This means you can just put on a playlist and know that you are going to enjoy all of the songs it plays.
  • It has been noted that often with Pandora you may hear a song you like, but then not hear it for a long time.
  • With Spotify you may feel less like you are being told what to listen to, as it is more for people who know what they like.
  • Pandora plays imitations of the songs and artists you like but they are not necessarily the songs you will enjoy or want to hear.
  • One person says that Spotify feels more like music "on demand", giving you access to anything you want to listen to at any time
  • If you hear a new song you like on the radio, Spotify will probably already have the whole album available for you to stream.

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