Pandora says August listener hours rose 16 percent

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Pandora managed to boost its listener numbers last month despite rising competition for online music lovers.

Total listener hours rose 16 percent in August to 1.35 billion, from 1.16 billion hours in the same month a year ago. That's a 5 percent increase from July, when Pandora reported total listener hours of 1.28 billion.

The company's share of U.S. radio listening in August was 7.46 percent, up from 6.3 percent in the same month a year ago. That's up from 7.08 percent in July.

Pandora's number of active listeners jumped to 72.1 million at the end of August, up 28 percent from 56.2 million in the same period a year ago. That's up 1 percent from July's active listener count of 71.2 million.

Pandora offers free online access to its users with advertisements. It also has a subscriber service that allows users to listen online without advertising.

Its mobile business, which lets users listen to its music on smartphones, tablets and e-readers, is growing rapidly. Pandora said last month that its revenue from its mobile business jumped 92 percent to $116 million.

Pandora, based in Oakland, Calif., is facing increased competition this year. It already competes with Spotify, Google Inc. and others in the space, and Apple Inc. plans to launch its own radio service in the fall.

Company shares tumbled late last month after Pandora announced it was doing away with a monthly limit of 40 hours of free music.

Shares of Pandora Media Inc. rose 29 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $18.50 in morning trading Thursday.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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