Overview of Pandora Radio versus Slacker Radio

While more and more radio stations supported entirely by ads such as Pandora and Slacker Radio are starting to emerge, it seems that the industry of stations that require a monthly subscription is on its last legs. The Pandora version for iPhone has only recently been created, as this application was initially designed for Blackberry. Slacker Radio, on the other hand, is a fairly new application to begin with. While both have solid features incorporated and they are completely free to use, which one is fit to be called king?


Both Pandora Inc. and Slacker Inc. are companies dedicated to a single goal: To enhance the music lovers’ listening experience without charging any membership fee. Pandora Radio and Slacker Radio are the only applications are their entire focus. Sadly, both Pandora and Slacker have the same setback: their radio stations are only available for U.S. citizens so far. However, the coverage these free radios have is exceptional and vastly superior to the traditional radio coverage. Moreover, it is important to note that you can upgrade your account to a paid version with a monthly subscription in order to eliminate the ads completely.

Head2Head: A comparison of app features between Pandora Radio and Slacker Radio

Thought both Slacker Radio and Pandora Radio offer users the possibility of creating their customized radio stations in addition to the classical genre ones, these two applications work differently. On one hand, Pandora takes into account all the features of a song and uses an algorithm to add similar songs to the station. On the other hand, Slacker Radio only adds songs to your station based on the genre and subgenre that your selected song falls in. To be honest, the way Slacker does it is preferable, as playlists become less repetitive. However, the downside is that songs that sound similarly but fall into different categories will never make the playlist.

As far as the music catalog is concerned, Slacker Radio wins by a fair margin. The selection currently provided by Pandora Radio is quite limited and, if there was anything bad to say about this station, this is it. In terms of ads, however, the method employed by Pandora is preferred by users. While Slacker Radio plays an audio ad once every six songs, the ads used by Pandora are purely visual, meaning that unless you look at the screen while listening to the radio, they will never bother you.

While neither Pandora nor Slacker have a lot of setting options, the ability to tweak the radio stations gives Slacker Radio a clear advantage over the competitor. For instance, you can choose whether you want to listen to songs from and older or newer period or how often you want to hear a song based on your favorite selections. However, both Pandora and Slacker Radio offer users the possibility of choosing favorite songs.


The significantly higher popularity of Pandora Radio over Slacker Radio is undeniable, but it is mostly the result of being on the market for a longer period of time. Slacker is clearly a part of the next generation of iPhone radio stations and will surely outshine Pandora in time. At the moment, iTunes users have granted 4 out of a possible 5 stars for Pandora and 3.5 out of a possible 5 stars to Slacker. As you can see, the difference is borderline.


Both Pandora Radio and Slacker Radio are free of charge, since their costs are supported by advertisement. The price of upgrading Slacker Radio to an advertisement-free station is a 3 dollar monthly subscription, but as most users can tell you, it is not worth it, unless you want the lyrics feature included in the paid package. The 10 to 15 second advertisement is not something that interferes with your music listening experience severely.

In a nutshell

Given the wider selection of songs and bands, the enhanced song choosing method, it is safer to say that Slacker Radio seems to be the better choice than Pandora Radio. However, both these work stations perform extremely well even under tough circumstances. While the lengthy loading time is their main drawback, after the playlist has been loaded, the application is already buffering the next song, so there is no more waiting. Clearly, some of you might think that Pandora Radio has been a favorite of many users but watch out, Slacker Radio is going to knock Pandora Radio off its seat!

Head2Head winner: Slacker Radio

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