The London-based online music discovery service announced the addition of a free radio feature to its iPhone and iPad apps, allowing U.S. users access to an unlimited amount of ad-supported music. Spotify’s service, like Pandora, lets listeners generate an unlimited number of formats or radio stations based on songs, albums and artists. Users can “like” songs to save them to their Spotify playlists. With Pandora, however, songs that are picked don’t necessarily play right away, or play at all—The system’s Music genome Project picks songs to play that are similar to choices entered by listeners.
Spotify rolled out a streaming radio feature on its Mac OS X and Windows desktop apps six months ago. This week’s move expands the offering into mobile.
Spotify’s streaming radio feature is only available for Apple iOS devices. The feature will soon be expanded to other platforms. Spotify currently offers mobile apps for Android and BlackBerry.
Customers who subscribe to Spotify Premium, for $9.99 a month, can listen to radio streams without ads. Spotify’s launch sponsors include Taco Bell, Chevrolet, Heineken, McDonald’s and Verizon Wireless.
Spotify has content deals with Sony Music, Universal Music, EMI Group and Warner Music Group. Under those agreements, artists, record companies and publishers receive a cut of ad sales and subscriber fees. Pandora doesn’t have agreements with labels.