For the second time in its history, streaming music service Pandora has lifted its limit on how many hours of music a user may stream per month without a paid subscription.
Pandora’s 40-hour per month cap was reinstated in February of this year, after getting the axe in 2011. Now the limit is schedule be removed (or re-removed, if you will) on September 1.
According to Herring the choice was based on two factors. The first of which, Herring says, is that Pandora has developed more “surgical techniques” to limit costs and use (like further limits on sock skipping and mobile use), rather than the hour cap which Herring likened to a “blunt tool.” Second, due to unspecified improvements in Pandora’s advertising infrastructure, the company is now able to “monetize those hours from 41 onward at a much higher rate.”
Though Herring didn’t explicitly mention it, there may be a third reason Pandora chose to nix the hour cap: growing competition. Apple’s iTunes Radio is slated to arrive this fall and will provide free streaming with access to the entire iTunes library.