Top Alternatives to Pandora for Business Music Use

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Pandora was one of the very first music streaming services available. It used the Music Genome Project to link a user’s music preferences to new or different songs through a generated “radio station.”

Users would get music choices based on the tune’s relationship to their personal favorites. They could then thumbs-up or thumbs-down choices generated by the algorithm so their station would be refined.

Over time, users could create customized stations with several songs they love, with new music being introduced all the time. This service was a revolutionary new option for the time, allowing individuals the opportunity to listen to music in a whole new way.

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Pandora for Business: Expanding on the Original Internet Streaming Music Service

The massive popularity of Pandora paved the way for dozens of its competitors, including Spotify and SoundCloud. As more streaming services rose to compete for individual users, more people discovered that streaming music through their computer or phone was a great way to get new music alongside the songs they have loved for years.

Individual music licenses are not the same as business music licenses, according to performing rights organizations (PROs). For a long time, playing Pandora playlists in your business was illegal. This left business owners in a tough position. They wanted to play these great playlists, but it was simply not allowed in a place of business.

Fortunately, Pandora was also among the first streaming services to create a business-oriented option. Pandora for Business has partnered with Mood Media, the company behind Muzak, to offer the same kind of music genome-based radio stations that are fully licensed for business use.

Pandora for Business offers various services, including:

  • Simple setup and easy-to-use interface for the music player.
  • No ads or interruptions.
  • Familiar ways to create music stations, like choose the songs you love and get rid of songs you don’t like.
  • Unlimited listening hours and no timing out.
  • Less repetition than Pandora for personal use.
  • Content filter so you do not hear explicit lyrics.
  • Simple billing process.
  • A cost of $26.95 per month for the basic subscription.

You may be a loyal Pandora user, but even with these excellent service options, it may not be the best option for your business. Pandora can certainly claim the title of being one of the very first streaming services, and they inspired several competitors that may offer better options for your business.

Why You Must License Music for Your Business

You can’t just play music in your business without a license. The penalties are severe if you are caught.

Playing music in your business is considered a public performance, and it requires a public performance license. PROs regularly send representatives into businesses to detect if songs are being used without permission, and the fines associated with violations can be incredibly high—up to $150,000 per offense.

You can either negotiate for licenses from each PRO (fees vary according to type of business and intended use), or you can subscribe to a commercial streaming service. When you use a music-for-business service, the licensing for each song is already taken care of.

Pandora’s Competitors Offer Similar Selections & Quality

Pandora for Business isn’t the only business music streaming service available. While the service works well for many business owners, it isn’t quite right for some. There are competitors that may offer more streamlined services for a lower subscription price.

Here are some of the top alternatives to Pandora for Business:

  • SiriusXM for Business: If you like the ease of Pandora’s streaming radio stations, but you want better access to new and popular music or specific genres of music, SiriusXM for Business can be a great solution. SiriusXM is internet radio, offering hundreds of channels of music, sports, talk shows, and more, just like AM and FM radio stations. For business, you can choose between their software user interface, which works with computers or smartphones, or their streaming music player, a hardware option that allows your stations to come through while you use your computers for other tasks. You can choose their satellite service if you do not want to use your internet connection directly. This allows for better, uninterrupted service in many locations. You can also easily integrate Sonos hardware, allowing for incredible sound quality in your establishment. SiriusXM created several radio stations of uninterrupted music specifically for different types of businesses, including spas, restaurants, banks, and health care offices. If your business is big enough to franchise, you can add more options to your SiriusXM service, including custom music selections, in-store messaging, easy access for employees like store managers, and simple, custom website ordering for products and services.
  • Soundtrack Your Brand: Spotify created a streaming music for business solution called Soundtrack Your Brand, which has music stations like Pandora. Using “soundtracks” that work much like radio stations, you can select genre, sound, or even business type to get the right playlist for your storefront. You also have the option to create your own soundtrack, allowing you to start with a different genre, sound, or even energy level to match the beat you want in your store. You can even convert your Spotify playlists into soundtracks that Soundtrack Your Brand will update with new, related tunes every week. Like other services, you can schedule music based on location and time of day. You get an explicit lyrics filter, so customers won’t be offended by explicit lyrics. Instead, they can stay focused on your offerings.

  • Soundsuit: This unique new streaming service provides music for businesses, but Soundsuit did not come out of a personal streaming service. Instead, the company is entirely dedicated to enterprise customers. You start by selecting what type of business you own, your target audience, and the vibe you want to set in your store. It offers services like Pandora, such as being able to like or dislike songs. Whenever you skip a song, the algorithm learns more about your personal preferences, and this helps them refine your business’s music library. You get a new mix of songs every day, played at the right time of day based on your customers’ habits and preferences. You know the branding and mood of your store the best. As a result, Soundsuit offers you personal tailoring ability with full access to music licensed just for businesses. There are no advertisements so the music will play free from interruptions. You can also integrate Soundsuit with Sonos for high-quality sound throughout your store.

Pandora CloudCover Provides More Flexibility in Your Radio Stations

Maybe you want an algorithm to make choices for you, but you still want some level of customization in the song selection process. Pandora CloudCover gives you a leg up on what the competition offers. You can choose various radio stations by genre, mood, or business type, but you can also combine the stations to create the best mix for your specific store.

Instead of letting a computer program choose your music, Pandora CloudCover’s music for business content curators create playlists for you, so you know that someone customized the theme of each list, thinking about your industry and your customer base. It is easy to remove songs you do not like, including permanently if you simply hate a song.

You can schedule when certain playlists will play during the day, including 15-minute breaks to change stations entirely. Your customers can enjoy the latest new music, as Pandora CloudCover continually expands their PRO library. As a result, the latest hits can be included in playlists, and you can rest assured that you are fully licensed to play them.

With Pandora CloudCover, you get a free 14-Day trial that includes access to the whole catalog. This means you can easily listen to all their music options before signing up for this affordable service.

How Pandora Stacks Up Against Competitors

This chart offers a quick comparison of Pandora and its alternatives:

Library Monthly Cost Free Trial Period Equipment Required?
Pandora for Business 250+ stations $26.95 14 days Yes, free with signup
SiriusXM for Business 240+ professionally designed channels $26.95 30 days No, but available
Soundtrack Your Brand (formerly Spotify for Business) Over 100 million songs and thousands of playlists $39-$54 14 days No, but available
Soundsuit Millions of songs $29 30 days No, but available
Mood Media Hundreds of genres & over 160 custom channels $26.99-$35.99 14 days No, but available
Pandora CloudCover 200+ business channels & huge songs library $16.95.95-$26.95 (when prepaid annually) 14 days No, but available


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