Pandora Reverses 40-Hour Mobile Listening Limit With iTunes Radio Looming

Love 'em or hate 'em, Apple has the ability to move markets, influence rivals, and change the status quo. Just take a look at Pandora. The streaming radio giant made a move earlier in the year that put a 40-hour cap on mobile listening. Naturally, it was imlpemented in order to encourage more folks to pay for premium services, and likely as a way to get a better handle on revenue.

But now, on today's earnings call, Pandora's CFO reversed course. Here's what Mike Herring had to say:

"When we introduced the 40 hour mobile listening limit, we were confident that our scale – over 7% 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. As our results have shown, the continued strong growth in our advertising revenue allowed us to cover the increased royalty costs with dollars left over to invest back into the business. With these tools in hand, and insight into how they work, we are resetting our levers in September. Notably, Pandora plans to eliminate the blanket 40-hour-per-month limit on free mobile listening effective September 1st."

It's hard to think that this is due to anything other than the impending launch of Apple's iTunes Radio. With iOS already in millions of hands, it'll no doubt become a default streaming station for many, particularly if it's more enticing than Pandora's offering. All hail competition, huh?