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Pandora announces gift subscriptions

Internet radio service Pandora has announced a new way to expose new listeners to its service—and rake in some cash at the same time. Pandora users can now purchase gift subscriptions for others for one year of streaming music service, and have the gifts sent right away or delivered via email up to a year in the future…although, in that case, buyers had better hope the recipient doesn’t change their email address.

[Update 14-Oct: Unfortunately, Pandora says they had to pull the ability to delay gift subscriptions at the last minute: gift subscriptions can only be purchased for immediate delivery.]

“It’s the perfect gift for any occasion,” said Pandora founder and chief strategy officer Tim Westergren, in a statement. “Now, you can give someone a year’s worth of great personalized music for a very low price. We anticipate the new Pandora gifting to be popular not only during the upcoming holiday season, but for all occasions where people are searching for that perfect, personalized gift to give.”

The gift subscriptions cost $36—the same as a regular one-year Pandora One subscription. Buyers will have the option of having the gift subscription sent immediately via email, or creating a printable version of the gift card if users want to send it via postal mail or include it with some other item. Recipients will get treated to the full complement of Pandora services: personalized music streaming based on individual likes and dislikes, high quality quality, access from any device that supports Pandora (including PCs, many phones, set-top boxes, streaming media players, and even TVs and Blu-ray players). And, best of all, there’s no limit to how much music subscribers can stream, and there are no ads.

Pandora offers up to 40 hours a month of free ad-supported listening, with an option for users to pay $0.99 to finish out a month where they hit that limit, or pay $36 to listen to Pandora free for a year, ad-free.