Pandora expands to Windows Phone 8, vows ad-free music through 2013

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Pandora Media is extending its digital music platform to devices running Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone 8, pledging an uncapped mobile listening experience throughout the remainder of this year.

Pandora - Windows Phone 8

Pandora is available for Windows Phone 8.

Pandora's Web-based streaming service allows users to create personalized "stations" programmed according to their favorite performers and genres. The company said the free Windows Phone 8 app closely resembles its mobile apps for rival operating systems like Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, but the app also includes several twists that leverage features unique to the Microsoft platform. 

"For example, you can pin your favorite stations directly to the Start screen. Even cooler, the tiles are live and show you what's currently playing without having to actually launch the app," explains Pandora Director of Product User Experience Asi Behar. "If you have kids, we've also integrated into what Microsoft calls 'Kid's Corner'--just launch Pandora from that starting point and we'll make sure that no explicit content plays during that session."

Late last month, Pandora announced it will cap existing mobile users at 40 free listening hours per month, a measure to help the firm address mounting music royalty fees. It will not institute the cap for Windows Phone 8 users until at least 2014, however. Pandora also will not run advertising between songs streamed to WP8 devices throughout the remainder of this year.

Pandora recently reported fiscal fourth-quarter revenues of $125.1 million, a 54 percent year-over-year increase: Mobile revenues reached $80.3 million, growing 111 percent year-over-year. Total Pandora listener hours surged 53 percent to 4.05 billion, and mobile listening increased 70 percent.

For more:
- read this Pandora Blog entry

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Pandora: 70% of listening hours on mobile devices 
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