No more ad-supported Radio for mobile users on mobile and entertainment devices will have to pay $3 per month for the service

Technology trends and news by Ronny Kerr
February 7, 2011
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Online radio service announced Monday that it will begin charging users to stream music to their mobile devices and home entertainment devices. The changes go in effect February 15. is available for a diverse range of devices from Android and iPhone to Onkyo and Denon & Marantz AV receivers.
Like Pandora, is a largely ad-supported music discovery site--and it will remain so on the main website--but the staff decided that the same model was not as viable on mobile and other non-PC platforms. Radio will still be free to stream via the main site and the desktop client in the US, UK and Germany; oddly enough, Xbox Live and Windows Mobile 7 users will still have free access in the US and UK. I guess Android and iPhone, only the two biggest smartphones in the world, get shafted here.
For $3 per month (“the cost of a fancy coffee,” in the company’s words), users can access the service from anywhere without ads. Additionally, paid users can see recent visitors to their profile and access the new VIP zone, which offers more charts, graphs and other goodies from the Labs.
“We believe our radio -whether it’s a personalised station or artist and tag radio – is the best in the world and we’re proud of the depth and range of our catalogue of music from major labels, indies and unsigned artists,” wrote staff member Matthew Hawn in a blog post. “We’re committed to building into a bigger service that gives listeners the best music discovery experience anywhere while financially supporting and promoting the artists who make the music we love.”

Of course, there’s another online radio service that think it’s the best in the world: Pandora. Easily’s biggest competitor, Pandora still offers free listening on its website and mobile devices, but non-paying users are limited to 40 hours per month and must listen to ads every few songs. Pandora One subscribers pay $36 per year (same as for unlimited listening, no ads and higher quality audio (192 kbps).

The big difference is that provides a wide range of other features, like artist pages, event pages and “scrobbling,” by which the service records the music you listen to in real-time.

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