Music streaming company Spotify began testing a new Android app in Australia designed to compete with a radio-focussed service from rival Pandora.
Spotify described the app, named Stations, as an experiment designed to deliver instantaneous playback and swift switching between radio stations: “As you listen, it learns what you like and creates personalised stations,” the company explained, noting this will ultimately mean “no searching or typing” is needed to change the channel.
It is unclear when the app was developed or when testing began: TechCrunch reported it garnered less than 100 downloads to date. Spotify told the news site it is “always testing new products and experiences, but have no further news to share at this time”.
Earlier this month Spotify pushed ahead with plans to hold an initial public offering in H1 2018 via an unconventional route, after confidentially filing for a direct listing with US regulators.
In December 2017 Spotify announced a partnership with China-based Tencent which will see the two companies acquire new shares representing minority equity stakes in each other.
As for Pandora, 2017 was a busy year. In June, it announced Tim Westergren would step down as CEO and from the board of directors, as news surfaced it was winding down its presence in Australia and New Zealand to focus on the US.
Details of wind down came weeks after Pandora received an investment of $480 million from satellite radio company SiriusXM and sold its Ticketfly business to Eventbrite for $200 million.
The company signed up more than 5 million users and a majority of its revenue comes from advertising. In 2017, it added video advertising to its app.