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Spotify continues me-too Pandora strategy

The on-demand music service updates iOS app and it includes free mobile radio.

Spotify on iOS. Spotify

Spotify, at one time exclusively an on-demand music service, has updated its iOS app, and users in the United States will get free mobile radio features similar to those that helped make Pandora famous.

The company says iPad or iPhone users can create limitless streaming radio stations, or save tracks they hear on their radio feature to their Spotify playlists just by hitting "like." They can create unlimited numbers of stations by flagging the tracks they hear.

In May, Spotify rolled out a desktop version of the service.

The question worth asking is, if Spotify is mimicking Pandora, how come Pandora isn't mimicking Spotify?

Pandora's model has a lot of attractive elements. Because Spotify offers on-demand music, the company has to negotiate a rate with music labels. Pandora is a radio service that plays songs randomly and therefore has to pay a royalty rate set by Congress.

As a result, Pandora's model could prove to be a little cheaper.

But both companies have yet to prove their models can be profitable over the long term. Pandora, however, was able to sell Wall Street on its strategy.

How long before we see Spotify try this route?