Pandora goes free (and ad-supported) on Logitech Squeezebox--with other devices likely to follow

Pandora's subscription-based Internet music service will now be free on Logitech Squeezebox devices--though you'll have to sit through some ads.

Logitech Squeezebox Duet with Pandora logo
Pandora's streaming music service is now free--albeit with ads--on the Logitech Squeezebox family of devices CNET

Add Pandora to the list of free online music services you can access through the Logitech Squeezebox. Previously, the music service--which creates the equivalent of personalized radio stations based on your favorite artists and music genres--required a $36 yearly subscription fee to be accessed on a network digital audio player in the home. But there is a trade-off: the free service will be ad-supported (the subscription plan remains available to users who prefer an ad-free experience).

Initially, it appears that the Logitech Squeezebox products will be the only home audio streamer with access to the free Pandora service. However, it's a safe bet that the ad-supported Pandora service will also be making its way to the other two devices that support the current subscription service: the Sonos Music System and the Grace ITC-IR1000B Wi-Fi Radio.

The free Pandora tier isn't a huge surprise in the wake of the company's recently released iPhone/iPod Touch app , which had already blazed the trail for an ad-supported service. (The browser- and desktop-based Pandora is also free, with the ads appearing onscreen rather than through the audio stream.) No word on whether Sprint or AT&T users of the Pandora's On The Go service will be getting a free option, however--in the meantime, they're paying $3 and $9 per month, respectively.

If you want to know more about Pandora's evolving subscription and advertising models, tune in to this week's MP3 Insider podcast , where Senior Editor Donald Bell talks with Pandora founder Tim Westergren.

About the author

John P. Falcone is the executive editor of CNET Reviews, where he coordinates a group of more than 20 editors and writers based in New York and San Francisco as they cover the latest and greatest products in consumer technology. He's been a CNET editor since 2003.

 

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