updated 10:33 am EST, Wed February 13, 2013
Includes over 200 curated stations
Music streaming service Slacker has done a major relaunch, hoping to better compete with rivals such as Spotify and Pandora. The company is keeping a free-to-listen radio-style service for most customers, but also offering two paid tiers for people wanting better options. $4 per month upgrades listeners to Slacker Radio Plus, which removes ads and limits on how many songs can be skipped at a time. $10 per month gets a Premium subscription, needed for direct song access and the ability to save custom playlists.
Slacker says it now has over 13 million songs, giving it more than Pandora; that number is, however, still less than the 15 million Spotify achieved last summer. To accompany the relaunch, the company has also overhauled its iOS and Android apps with redesigned interfaces and (on iOS) a new Music Guide feature. Other apps -- such as the BlackBerry and Windows Phone versions -- have yet to be updated.
An aspect Slacker is heavily promoting in its new platform is the concept of curated stations. The service has over 200 such stations, covering themes like 2013 Grammy winners or classic instrumental jazz.