Internet radio service Songza announced Friday morning a new subscription option for users to enjoy advertising-free listening. Called Club Songza, the subscription tier will drop the ads and double the number of songs that can be skipped.
Club Songza will cost 99 cents per week, roughly equal to the $3.99 per month cost of Pandora's subscription tier, Pandora One, but more than Pandora's annual cost of $36, or $3 per month. Slacker Radio also costs $3.99 per month for advertising-free listening (Slacker subscribers get unlimited song skips and mobile station caching on mobile devices.) iTunes Radio will have the lowest monthly cost of them all. The service, expected to launch this fall, will be free for people who pay the $24.99 annual price for iTunes Match.
Songza doesn't have the following of market leaders like Pandora and iHeartRadio. But the small, New York-based service had been making inroads. It had 4.7 million active users in March and its average user streams music 65 minutes per day. The Songza app is currently has the #21 free iPhone music app at iTunes and the #23 free music app at Google Play.
Royalties are the major talking point in Internet radio right now. With Pandora making attempts to lower its royalty obligations, it may seem Songza's new subscription tier came from financial motivation. But Internet radio CEO Elias Roman told TechCrunch the main reason Songza decided to launch a subscription tier was user demand.