Slacker Radio adds competitive features

Users can access specific songs or whole albums from library

Internet music service Slacker Radio has launched an on-demand feature, dubbed Slacker Premium Radio.

The No. 2 Web radio service in the country (behind Pandora), Slacker’s Premium service — available for $9.99 per month — allows for immediate listening to specific songs or whole albums from its library, as well as the ability to create artist-specific playlists. Previously, Slacker’s music was only available through curated playlists.

Feature adds a third pricing tier to the site’s subscriptions; prior versions of the service offered one free plan, supported by advertising, and one ad-free premium tier.

The move can be seen both as an attempt to one-up Pandora, which offers no such service, and preemptive strike against such on-demand providers as Rdio and Europe’s Spotify, which, though they are not like-for-like competitors, have long been seen as potential threats to Internet radio. Due to licensing issues, Slacker’s entire 8 million-song library will not be available for on-demand listening, but company reps assure the majority will be.