Satellite-radio firm Sirius XM’s investment in Pandora, and comments made by its executives since that deal was agreed, have raised concerns about whether Pandora will be putting less welly behind its subscription tiers.

However, recently-appointed CEO Roger Lynch maintains that subscription remains important to Pandora.

“All three tiers of the service are important. If you could get everyone in America to subscribe, wouldn’t the world be great?” he told Billboard.

“But that’s not the case: There’s a segment of the audience that will pay $10 a month, a ­segment that will pay $5 and a segment that won’t pay at all. Pandora has a significant share of the audio ad marketplace, and we’ll focus on building tech to bring more value to our advertisers.”

It is clear that Pandora is determined to make more of its free ad-supported tier, then, but for now Lynch’s words on subscriptions may reassure rightsholders who are keen for Pandora to turn that base into more of a funnel towards subscription.

Lynch also said his past experience at Sling TV will help Pandora in its drive for more listeners. “There will be a focus on direct-to-consumer marketing,” he said.

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