Spotify takes aim at Pandora with free radio service for iOS apps

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Spotify is expanding its iOS applications to support free streaming radio, giving U.S. consumers access to unlimited music on the go.

In the past, only premium Spotify subscribers could access the service's 16 million songs via mobile device--with the new update, Spotify's apps for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and iPad support mobile access for all users, although only paid subscribers will enjoy commercial-free listening. In addition, iOS device owners may create unlimited numbers of streaming radio stations from single tracks, playlists, albums or artists; save favorites to Spotify playlists; "like" songs to hear similar material; and browse Facebook friends' playlists to discover their current favorites.

Asked by Engadget when the streaming radio service will roll out to operating systems including Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, Spotify did not specify a timeframe but said "We think it's core to the mobile experience, and we're looking to bring it to all of the major platforms in due time." Spotify also supports Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone.

Spotify is available in 13 countries and touts more than 10 million active users, including 3 million premium subscribers. During a keynote appearance at last month's CTIA Wireless 2012 event, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said users listen to an average of 100 minutes a day and have created more than 700 million playlists. He added that Spotify services have generated more than $250 million in payments back to the music industry, noting that more than 500 million consumers worldwide still listen to music across various illegal services and sites.

The iOS update escalates Spotify's ongoing rivalry with Pandora and further blurs the line separating the two platforms. During his own CTIA Wireless 2012 keynote, Pandora President and CEO Joe Kennedy said the digital music service has surpassed 150 million registered U.S. users, with 100 million of them streaming songs via smartphone or tablet. Kennedy added that more than 70 percent of Pandora listening hours now take place on mobile or other connected devices.

For more:
- read this Engadget article

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