Can a platform built on free successfully go premium? Enter Songza, which is now pushing Club Songza, an ad-free tier with double the number of allowed skips. Songza’s service will cost 99-cents a week, or roughly $4 a month.
A weekly rate is unusual, though it allows Songza to advertise a ’99 cent’ price point. Overall, the monthly cost is similar to premium tiers from Pandora (Pandora One) and Slacker, both of whom charge $3.99.
The transition comes amidst extremely-heavy debate over the merits of free internet radio streaming. Pandora recently forced heavy mobile users to transition into paid platforms, citing heavy royalty burdens. The results were surprisingly strong, raising further questions over whether Pandora’s extreme bias towards free access makes sense for anyone beyond listeners and Wall Street investors.
Songza claims a respectable 4.8 million monthly userbase; Pandor a boasts a comparably hefty 70 million (and 200 million registered users).
Written while listening to Kanye West’s Yeezus.