Internet radio service Pandora is distinguishing itself from the über-competitive music streaming market with its latest station, Pandora Premieres. Listeners will be able to preview select albums on Pandora before they go on sale with the new early access feature, which kicks off with singer-songwriter Laura Marling and roots rocker John Fogerty.
Both artists' albums are available for only a week at pandora.com/premieres, with the option to preorder the new releases on iTunes straight from the Pandora station.
Drawing in new users is very important in the crowded subscription streaming space, and exclusive recordings and early access to albums help music services tap into artists' fan bases. The competition between music subscription services is only getting stiffer. Google introduced its "radio without rules," Google Play Music All Access, last week.
Pandora still has a financial edge over other streaming services, however. Despite being forced into charging a small number of users due to an increase in royalties earlier this year, the site is still a steal at $4 per month or $36 per year for Internet radio.