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Pandora to lift monthly free listening limit ahead of Apple's launch of iTunes Radio

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
As Apple prepares to launch its iTunes Radio service for iOS 7, Mac and PC, popular Internet radio service Pandora is making moves to ensure that the iPhone maker doesn't crowd it out of the segment.



On Sept. 1, Pandora will lift the 40-hour-per-month limit the company has had in place on free mobile listening since March of this year, the radio service announced on Thursday. Speaking during the company's quarterly conference call, Pandora CFO Mike Herring attributed the decision to improvements in Pandora's advertising business, as well as the development of "surgical techniques" such as skip limits.

"Our investment in advertising infrastructure and implementing smart levers such as reducing song skipping and limiting mobile listening," Herring said, "have helped us drive monetization and manage content costs, as reflected by the increase in RPM and a decrease in content costs as a percentage of revenue.

"When we introduced the 40 hour mobile listening limit, we were confident that our scale ? over seven percent of total radio listening and Pandora's number one ranking in most major markets ? would allow us to take this action without impacting our key monetization initiatives in driving the disruption of the radio advertising market and driving our mobile advertising leadership."

Thursday's announcement marks the second time that Pandora has put a free listening cap in place and then lifted it. The last cap lift occurred in September 2011.

Pandora is the largest radio station in nearly every major market in America. The service is available on more than 1,000 consumer electronic devices, and roughly one-third of all new cars sold in the United States in 2013 will have access to Pandora. The service is also the third-largest generator of mobile ad revenue, following Google and Facebook.

Even while it has struggled to control music royalty expenditures, Pandora has grown to become a powerful name in the digital music business. The streaming industry has grown increasingly crowded, though, as massive tech companies ? including Google and Microsoft ? have made plays to bring their own streaming services online.

Most recently, Apple announced that it would join the fray, bringing iTunes Radio to devices running iOS 7, Macs, PCs, and Apple TV devices. Apple's option will likely launch alongside iOS 7 some time in September.

Apple's model has already been established as a threat to Pandora, given that it will be built in to all of Apple's devices and will likely feature the sort of functionality that only comes with such deep integration. iTunes Radio has already begun attracting ad buys from major brands like McDonald's, Nissan, and Pepsi.
post #2 of 46

Competition at its best! 

post #3 of 46

Way to make everyone aware of iTunes Radio's better terms ahead of launch, Pandora. Streisand Effect much?

post #4 of 46
Who cares? Unless you live in the USA, Australia or New Zealand, Pandora is a nonstarter.
post #5 of 46

Short the stock.

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post #6 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgfsteed View Post

Who cares? Unless you live in the USA, Australia or New Zealand, Pandora is a nonstarter.

 

Well, yeah. But to be honest, unless you live in the USA... so is iTunes Radio.

post #7 of 46

iTunes Radio via iTunes Match FTW.

 

Buh-bye, Pandora.

post #8 of 46
Love Pandora but will drop them like a hot rock when iTunes Radio comes out
post #9 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

Well, yeah. But to be honest, unless you live in the USA... so is iTunes Radio.

Do we know that to be true yet?

I would assume iTunes radio will be ready in more markets than just the US market at launch
post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post


Do we know that to be true yet?

I would assume iTunes radio will be ready in more markets than just the US market at launch

 

Well... that's all I know.

 

post #11 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

 

Well... that's all I know.

 

 

I'm sure it will still have a pretty quick international rollout, just as Siri did.

post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

 

I'm sure it will still have a pretty quick international rollout, just as Siri did.

 

Well, Siri was not depended on licensing deals with the music industry. I am, of course, all for it rolling out quickly, but considering that we here do still wait for the ability to re-download movies and tv shows, as Apple can't reach a deal with content providers in Germany... I do not take it for granted.

post #13 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

Well... that's all I know.


This may be only during developer phase, they probably have the rollout planed not immediate but have in maybe 10 countries in next 6 months with it a bit more limited (for now) in these countries
post #14 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

 

Well, Siri was not depended on licensing deals with the music industry. I am, of course, all for it rolling out quickly, but considering that we here do still wait for the ability to re-download movies and tv shows, as Apple can't reach a deal with content providers in Germany... I do not take it for granted.

If internet radio is available anywhere in the world where you can get a broadband connection, why do you think this should be an issue?

post #15 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

Well, Siri was not depended on licensing deals with the music industry. I am, of course, all for it rolling out quickly, but considering that we here do still wait for the ability to re-download movies and tv shows, as Apple can't reach a deal with content providers in Germany... I do not take it for granted.

True but I'm at least hoping for it to work in as many countries as pandora at a minimum at launch. Considering Apple's deal is more profitable for music companies I think many may see the value in opening up their content to iTunes radio
post #16 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

If internet radio is available anywhere in the world where you can get a broadband connection, why do you think this should be an issue?

 

Because of this?

 

 

All streaming services are contractually forced to check the IP address and deny service if the user is located in a locale for which no licensing agreements exist.

post #17 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

 

Because of this?

 

 

All streaming services are contractually forced to check the IP address and deny service if the user is located in a locale for which no licensing agreements exist.


I travel frequently around the globe and get around this by using VPN tunnel to my network.

post #18 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by RKRick View Post


I travel frequently around the globe and get around this by using VPN tunnel to my network.

 

Yeah, that works because your network is in the US. For anybody not having a network in the US, it won't make a difference. One could try some US proxy servers, but I have tried a few of those and they seem to be blacklisted as well (and even if they would work, I would not be sure that the performance would be great).

post #19 of 46
iTunes Radio is better plays in all countries as long as US iTunes account does not look at IP
post #20 of 46
This looks like back in the days Microsoft bundles a free browser with in windows(internet explorer), which kind of blew Netscape navigator out of business.

Don't you think Pandora would reduce there impact amongst iOS users ? They still have the Android market unless OEM's come out with similar radio services like iTunes Radio.
post #21 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

Because of this?




All streaming services are contractually forced to check the IP address and deny service if the user is located in a locale for which no licensing agreements exist.

No the contract doesn't say u need to check IP address. They just need to ensure the music is available to the US and select other few countries market. In order to comply with that requirement the technology provider choose a technical method to do so.
Pandora relied on IP address which can easily be beaten with proxies.
Apple however relies on the fact that u have a US based Apple account and not IP filtering to make the service available. That is neither a fool proof solution.
post #22 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikilok View Post

This looks like back in the days Microsoft bundles a free browser with in windows(internet explorer), which kind of blew Netscape navigator out of business.

 

Except that 1) neither iTunes nor iOS are a monopoly anywhere, 2) Apple is not destroying a paid service (browser) with a free offer and 3) Apple is actually paying the record companies / labels more money than Pandora does.

 

When MS added the free Internet Explorer to Windows, it had 90%+ of the desktop OS market, and Netscape Navigator was paid software. This does not really compare. (And to be unusually fair here, given how little of an effort Netscape made to deliver a browser that somehow met Windows' GUI and interface conventions... I am not even sure I want to blame MS in this case. Before they started to mess up the Internet with proprietary nonsense, IE was actually a breeze of fresh air compared to the convoluted Netscape mess.)

post #23 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

3) Apple is actually paying the record companies / labels more money than Pandora does.

Why is that the case ? Isn't the record companies earning more money through Apple ?
post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikilok View Post

Apple however relies on the fact that u have a US based Apple account and not IP filtering to make the service available. That is neither a fool proof solution.

 

My Apple developer account is US based (registered at my mother's address in Savannah, GA) and iTunes Radio does not work here, not in iOS 7 and not in Mavericks.

 

Do you refer to iTunes accounts for purchasing and iTunes Match "streaming", or do you refer to iTunes Radio?

post #25 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

My Apple developer account is US based (registered at my mother's address in Savannah, GA) and iTunes Radio does not work here, not in iOS 7 and not in Mavericks.

Do you refer to iTunes accounts for purchasing and iTunes Match "streaming", or do you refer to iTunes Radio?

When you go to Settings -> iTunes and App Store, the account you sign in there just needs to be a US account. If that's the case you can travel abroad and still enjoy the service.
post #26 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikilok View Post


Why is that the case ? Isn't the record companies earning more money through Apple ?

 

Several financial blogs reported that (means I can't vouch for that information being reliable, it's the only information available though) and it was backed up somewhat by "invitations" sent out by Apple to Indie labels. I don't know why, but maybe it is because Apple does not impose the 40 hour limit Pandora had. What Pandora will pay now that this limit has been lifted... I can't tell. Their CEO said that royalties will now be higher, but of course he did not give an amount.

 

Record companies do certainly make more money through Apple, as Apple is selling a lot of music. In how far iTunes Radio will generate more royalties than Pandora... remains to be seen.

post #27 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikilok View Post


When you go to Settings -> iTunes and App Store, the account you sign in there just needs to be a US account. If that's the case you can travel abroad and still enjoy the service.

 

Well, it is an US account. I can purchase music wherever I am, I can also buy and rent everything else using my US credit card. I can also access iTunes Match globally and re-download purchased stuff. (Same goes for my German account, with the exception of re-downloading movies and tv shows, which is not available in Germany yet.) iTunes radio does not work here, no matter if I am using the US or the German account, the Radio page in the Music app does not even show up. (Maybe it would work if I had accessed it from the US once... I can't say, as I have not been to the US for a few years.)

post #28 of 46
ITunes Radio will probably launch in Europe in 2023. I hate it when Apple is so slow in rolling out services in Europe. Anyway, i will not use iTunes Radio when it cones with irritating ads.
post #29 of 46
Pandora will take a huge hit. I'm also sure concert/club info will also be tied to maps.
post #30 of 46
Too bad Pandora had to lie. They dropped the limits because of impending competition.

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post #31 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

Well, it is an US account. I can purchase music wherever I am, I can also buy and rent everything else using my US credit card. I can also access iTunes Match globally and re-download purchased stuff. (Same goes for my German account, with the exception of re-downloading movies and tv shows, which is not available in Germany yet.) iTunes radio does not work here, no matter if I am using the US or the German account, the Radio page in the Music app does not even show up. (Maybe it would work if I had accessed it from the US once... I can't say, as I have not been to the US for a few years.)
That's weird. Might have to wait and see if this is still the case post official iOS 7 launch.
You try rebooting ur phone ? And ur on beta 6 ?
post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikilok View Post


That's weird. Might have to wait and see if this is still the case post official iOS 7 launch.
You try rebooting ur phone ? And ur on beta 6 ?

 

Yep, using beta 6 (for both, iOS 7 and OS 10.9) and I am rebooting at least 10 times a day (not forced, but I am working on iOS 7 GUI updates for one of our in-house apps). And it is not a beta 6 speciality either, I've used all previews from 1-6... iTunes Radio did never show up.

 

P.S. And all devices are properly registered as development devices, too.

post #33 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

Yep, using beta 6 (for both, iOS 7 and OS 10.9) and I am rebooting at least 10 times a day (not forced, but I am working on iOS 7 GUI updates for one of our in-house apps). And it is not a beta 6 speciality either, I've used all previews from 1-6... iTunes Radio did never show up.

P.S. And all devices are properly registered as development devices, too.

Would the use of VPN based of a US server help ? Ever tried that ?
post #34 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikilok View Post


Would the use of VPN based of a US server help ? Ever tried that ?

 

Not yet (it is not that urgent by any means, I just observed that it does not work from here). Either it will work once the GM is released, or I will give it a try when I am in the US in October. Thanks.

post #35 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgfsteed View Post

Who cares? Unless you live in the USA, Australia or New Zealand, Pandora is a nonstarter.

I use https://mediahint.com/ for some time now and it works great.


Edited by Albedo - 8/23/13 at 1:36am
post #36 of 46

I think iTunes Radio should be made available on Android, like iTunes was ported to Windows. It leads Android users to the iTunes store, (which is still the best store out there, despite Google's efforts) earns revenue for Apple, and lets not forget the "halo" effect Apple devices have.

post #37 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Albedo View Post

I use https://mediahint.com/
 for some time now and it works great.

Not working for Pandora (FF or Chrome) and naturally not for Netflix without an account.

This is not an answer to the problem that we have here in Europe (Germany like dreyfus2).

Spotify (Sweden-based) had a heck of a time getting released across Europe and even more so in the US.

The media co.'s and certain licensing/artist payment procurement organizations like GEMA here in Germany make this a very difficult endeavor for any company trying to roll out universal streaming options. The Media-Dino's (STILL!) have us all by the proverbial __________! 1oyvey.gif Sad... so sad!
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post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordoftheflatbush View Post

ITunes Radio will probably launch in Europe in 2023. I hate it when Apple is so slow in rolling out services in Europe. Anyway, i will not use iTunes Radio when it cones with irritating ads.

I hate that McDonalds won't open a franchise nearby. Of course I don't like their food and wouldn't eat there anyway.
post #39 of 46
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

I'm sure it will still have a pretty quick international rollout, just as Siri did.

 

Siri ≠ music company contracts.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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post #40 of 46
With iTunes match at $25 a year, not a month cost you have unlimited commercial free listening with iTunes Radio. Way better deal than Pandora's monthly cost plus your music is backed up and upgraded with iTunes match.
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