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With iTunes Radio coming, Pandora lifts 40-hour listening limit

Pandora isn't pinching pennies anymore

Rejoice, power listeners. We bring you good tidings.

Pandora will lift the 40-hour-per-month mobile listening limit on free music it introduced in February, starting Sept. 1.

The news comes via TechCrunch, reporting on the music service's financial earnings call. What brings about the change? Sounds like Pandora's gotten smarter.

More "surgical techniques," like skip limits, allow the company to control costs in a way that won't impact users as obviously as the "blunt tool" cap.

What's more, CFO Mike Herring said that business improvements, especially in advertising, mean Pandora is able to "monetize those hours from 41 onward at a much higher rate." Mo' money, mo' listening.

iTunes Radio who?

This isn't the first time Pandora has instated and then retracted a listening limit. The company imposed one on free desktop usage, but pulled the cap off in September 2011.

Herring today said that usage dropped by 10% following February's imposition. While he doesn't expect a huge jump come Sept. 1, he said Pandora anticipates listening hours increasing.

Though Herring brushed off the impending launch of iTunes Radio by stating, "We are no strangers to intense competition," it's worth noting that the Apple-led service won't launch with a listening cap.