With iTunes Radio set to launch in a few weeks, music streaming mainstay Pandora is looking to ensure that listeners don’t hit “stop” on its services. The online radio company has eliminated its 40-hour free listening limit on mobile devices, just months after first introducing the cap on music time.
According to an earnings call transcribed by TechCrunch, Pandora CFO Mike Herring noted that the company’s growth in advertising revenue has allowed them to cover royalty costs without charging customers for extended listening. Herring stated that Pandora gained “critical insights” since the company implemented the limit in February 2013, and that the group has found other means of monetization.
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The removal of Pandora’s listening limit comes at a convenient time for the company, as Apple will be launching iTunes Radio with iOS 7 in September. Like Pandora, iTunes Radio will be an internet-based service that plays songs based on user preferences. The software will be compatible with Siri and iPhone users’ existing music libraries, so listeners can start a station based on a spoken request or a song already on their device. iTunes Radio is fully synced with the cloud, allowing users to start a station on their iPhone and continue listening to it on their MacBook. The free service will be ad-supported, while those who subscribe to the $25 per year, cloud-based iTunes Match will enjoy an ad-free experience. Pandora’s similar “Pandora One” subscription costs $36.
Pandora’s 40-hour free listening limit will be removed officially on Sept. 1, just weeks before iOS 7 and iTunes Radio are set to make their debut. Who will you be listening to?