As part of Windows 8.1, Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) is updating Xbox Music, which was announced last year, to allow users to create stations based on artists on music genres, the company said on Wednesday at its Build Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Previously, Xbox Music, which offers free, advertising-supported songs for computer and tablet users, did not have this option. A subscription to the service, which allows users to access the service on their mobile phones, as well as stream it live on their Xbox consoles, costs $9.99 per month.
The Microsoft announcment didn't seem to ruffle Pandora investors. Shares were trading up 6.9% to $17.55, with more than 7.9 million shares trading hands on Wednesday afternoon.Other technology giants have also announced "Pandora killers" in recent weeks. Earlier this month, Apple (AAPL - Get Report) announced iTunes Radio as part of unveiling its new mobile operating system, ioS 7. Google (GOOG - Get Report) also unveiled its streaming service, the aptly named Google Play Music All Access in May. Shares of Pandora have continued to climb in the face of increased competition in the Internet music sector, despite being much smaller than Apple, Google or Microsoft. The stock has climbed 91% year-to-date. Conversely, Google has gained 24%, Microsoft has rose 29%, while Apple has fallen 25% during the same time frame. Yesterday, Pandora announced that its service is now available on more than 100 different models of automobiles, with more than 2.5 million people signing up for the service as a result. -- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York >Contact by Email. Follow @Chris_Ciaccia