Spotify readying direct rival to Pandora

Spotify is said to be developing an internet radio service that will rival the likes of Pandora. It would differ from the existing service, which holds a vast collection of music titles so users can create playlists, and function more like a customized radio station. Currently with Pandora, you plug in an artist or genre and the service will play similar music. You can skip tracks, but have no control over what specific music gets selected after your initial choice.Bloomberg reports that Spotify will launch the new internet radio service before the end of the year, and it will be relatively cheap to operate due to lower royalty fees. Sources say that Spotify is reaching out to content partners to notify them of the plan. The service would be free, and supported by advertising, much in the same way as the current Spotify service is.

It's a good plan, and would help Spotify attract an even larger audience to its service. Pandora has an extremely large number of registered users, around 150 million, with 49 million said to be regularly active. That service doesn't operate outside the US, however, while Spotify is active in multiple countries across the globe.

The new service could also give Spotify access to content that the company has been denied from cataloguing previously. Pandora has access to any music that has been published since they operate under a government statutory license, so if Spotify follows the same path, it could open up artists that have been restricted in the past, like The Beatles and Adele.