Pandora debuts premium on-demand music tier

Pandora is bringing on-demand song choice to its streaming radio service — for a premium.

The new on-demand service Pandora Premium, which costs $9.99 monthly, lets subscribers choose and play any song or album and use new playlist creation features. Currently, Pandora’s Internet radio can be listened to free with advertisements, but you cannot choose a specific song, only artists or a type of music. Listeners can give songs a thumbs up to hear more songs similar to that or thumbs down to not hear that track again on that station.

Pandora will send out invitations to current select users on Wednesday, with options for all users to upgrade in coming weeks.

Pandora hopes this new tier of service helps strengthen its position in the competitive music streaming market. It already reigns as the top music service in terms of overall listening, earning 28% of all streaming music hours in 2016, according to research firm MusicWatch. YouTube (including YouTube Red subscriptions), was second at 27% and Spotify came in third (17%).

However, Spotify has the most paying subscribers, 43 million…