A note to our listeners

This week we will begin communicating directly with a small number of our listeners as we introduce a 40-hour-per-month limit on free mobile listening.

Most of you reading this will never hit the limit. In fact, it will affect less than 4% of our total monthly active listeners. For perspective, the average listener spends approximately 20 hours listening to Pandora across all devices in any given month.

That said, limiting listening is a very unusual thing to do, and very contrary to our mission so we wanted to share a quick explanation. Pandora’s per-track royalty rates have increased more than 25% over the last 3 years, including 9% in 2013 alone and are scheduled to increase an additional 16% over the next two years. After a close look at our overall listening, a 40-hour-per-month mobile listening limit allows us to manage these escalating costs with minimal listener disruption.

For listeners who do hit the limit, we have a variety of options available to keep the music you love flowing. Listen for free for as many hours as desired on desktop and laptop computers; pay $0.99 for unlimited listening for the remainder of that month, or subscribe to Pandora One for unlimited listening and no advertising.

In short, this is an effort to balance the reality of increasing royalty costs with our desire to maximize access to free listening on Pandora. We will be sure to alert any of our listeners that start getting close to the 40 hour limit. As always, your feedback is welcome.

Thanks for listening,
Tim (Founder)

Tim Westergren

Founder http://www.pandora.com/profile/tim

781 thoughts on “A note to our listeners

  1. Also, saying if you don’t like it go somewhere else. I think that is the point of everyone’s comments. We will be taking our time and using it on another service.

    • I do not like this concept one bit. I listen to music on pandora all the time, and I can’t go 2 min. Without a commercial popping up or any type ad. Which is very annoying, and the last thing I need is a time limit. I only have 9 hours left, and I got pandora for free music not to pay 0.99 a month.

      • Completely agree. I’ll be migrating to Spotify radio once they work out a few more bugs… Pandora is a lot more polished for the radio function.

  2. As an avid music listener, I listen to A vast variety of artist and comedians.Having the option of being able to add over 100 artist to my station list would be very helpful and desirable. I hope you will consider that option for us loyal streamers in the future.Thankyou for all you do for us loyal listeners.

    • You could have several stations and just shuffle stations.
      That would also help you filter certain things out if you weren’t feeling one of the types or artists/comedians at the time.
      If 100 is the limit, then you could also have 100*(however many stations you have) artists be the new limit.

  3. Bull…..I tried to delete my account but I had to “email” them to cancel my account. Anyway, I only listen when I’m driving to and from home daily. My time was up in about a week. If they do not cancel my account as I have requested, they can keep it open but I will not return. It’s enough that I had to put up with that commercial of that black guy singing about the car I would never buy…but whateva. Good bye Pandora…nice knowing u.

    • Ya pandora sucks now days use raditaz it’s way better 6 skips instead of 3 and unlimited free usage.

      • This is so dumb! They are cheap and that is why they are doing this.

  4. I am very disappointed that Pandora has instituted this monthly mobile listening limit. I listen to A LOT of music. I have hit this limit for the last 3 months running, sometimes within the first week of the month. I really enjoy the service and variety that Pandora offers, but it gets very frustrating to be forced into either paying money or using another music app because of these ridiculous limits. I sincerely hope that Pandora rethinks this ill-advised decision and reverts back to the format that we’ve all known and loved.

    • I agree a lot on this subject with Dan, as I also listen to a lot of music. I love pandora because I can (or could at least) listen to whatever I wanted for as long as I wanted. It provided me with the capability of only listening to the songs I liked off of a specific album, instead of buying the whole and only listening to a few o the songs. So that’s great, but I am extremely disappointed that the cost yearly is $36 where as it should only be $12ish, because that’s what it charges monthly, because obviously $.99×12 is less than 12 bucks a month! How does that work?!?! And also, why should the lee even be a limit anyways? I’m a teenager currently and I down have a job, and I’m without an allowance too, so how am I supposed to pay? Because I’m a teen that also make that I listen to music a lot more, so to sum up, I think it’s dumb to add so much extra money onto the yearly price when it should only be about half that price. :( very disapointed. One more thing, if you HAVE to put a limit on there, you should at least give us the people a way to track our hours so we can better our responsibility and time management when it come to our listening times.

      • If you pay the $0.99 for the month, you still have ads. The whole point of Pandora One is that there are no ads. Your $36 pays for their costs of the rights to the music and operating costs since the advertisers aren’t paying them anything for you listening. If you are so disappointed – feel free to turn on the radio. Which you will also have commercials. Nothing is free. Pandora doesn’t ask for much. A measly $36 a year isn’t that big of a deal.

  5. Why should I keep paying $36/year for unlimited songs when I can cap off after forty hours of listening and only pay $0.99/month. By my calculations that would be less than twelve dollars a year versus thirty-six.

      • Same here, plus improved audio, no limits, etc. I don’t understand all the grips… Seriously, who can’t afford a measly $36 year for premium service?

      • Except you still can only skip 6 times per hour per station. F that. If I’m paying $36 a year I want no ads, and NO limits on skipping. I’m done with Pandora. Slacker, here I come.

  6. Maybe if you would charge $1 or $2 a month, more people would subscribe, I know I would. Just think of how much more revenue you would make just by lowering the price. Those of us “sitting on the fence” would jump in, I may listen to maybe 10 hours a month, but I would pay, if it were a little cheaper. Lower the price to $15 a year and I’m in.

  7. It’s not that the ads will be reduced or get less time. It’s that 40 hours with an ad after every song. So no. The only one screwed here are the listeners xD. Pretty much youll have I buy the commercial free. But wait. There’s also IHeartRadio. I don’t think they have ads in between.

  8. Limiting me to 40 hours per month has really encouraged me to look for other free services. I pay for the data in my phone to listen all day at work, and I don’t mind the commercials. If this is not changed I’m afraid you’ll lose many of your loyal listeners. Remember the Netflix fiasco? That’s where pandora is headed if this isn’t changed.

  9. I appreciate being able to try an app for free before deciding to purchase or subscribe. $30 something is a small price to pay for the top notch, quality service Pandora|One provides. Keep up the good work!

  10. can you let us know how you count your hours? because i was listening to it for about 2 hours and it said i had only 5 hours left. it doesn’t make sense, this 40 hours thing is obviously garbage because i for sure do not get 40 hours.

  11. I am very disappointed in pandora. I started using pandora when it first came out. I’m always listening to music, even tried to stay with them through all this limited time listening. However, I am finished with pandora. Now they have limited the number o skips from 6 for every station, to 6 period. There’re are a lot of crapy artists out there and it’s stupid that I have to choose to listen to them or sign off. Well goodbye pandora, you were great for a short time.

  12. Who can’t afford $35 a year for Pandora One? Kidding me? Anyway, I’m more concerned with a new development. I know you can only skip x times per hour per station, but it looks like (as of yesterday) I can’t skip more than x times per day on any station. Do I have to wait 24hrs for x times of skipping? Please advise.

  13. Moving the “Quit” option to deter expeditious cessation of the session does not deter one from just leaving the app on that screen to be able to exit quickly. It is actually a benefit in that it avoids the commercial pop-ups. This works for me.
    The greater frequency of audible commercial interruptions just because I skip a song (and the attempt by Pandora to prevent me from exiting during said audible commercials) just frustrates me and makes me Power Off and restart my cell. It’s not enough that you have the full screen advertisement that you have to “Skip” to get to the app, the pop-ups and the audible commercial interrupting, but now you want to control when I can exit? No Bueno.

  14. I hit the cap in about 3 days. But that’s because I eat sleep and dream music. I am subscribing to pandora after this week tho

  15. You guys play way too many ads. Their will be times where ill get sequences that go: song, ad, song, ad. It’s rediculous. You’re lucky I’m to lazy to download a new radio streaming app.

  16. Gotta tell you, I’m not getting it. How dare you limit what I’m getting free? I know as I’m writing this that I shouldn’t. Somebody’s going to say something to make me more irritated than I already am. But guess I’ll give it a shot.
    After listening to friends and coworkers rave about Pandora, I finally downloaded it just a few hours ago and am already hooked. So I’m googling to find out how much I can listen with my current data plan and end up here. So you listen to some ads. Granted, I’m already finding that the visual ads are a touch irritating, but then, I guess I’m getting my money’s worth, eh?
    So to listen to some ads (I’m not seeing that I’m getting them after every song) and I’m getting what – 40 hours of songs, 600 – four minute songs, 42 – fourteen song albums/CDs, free.
    Or, for 3.99 per month, the price of 2 songs on Itunes, I can listen to unlimited (correct?), ad free music.
    The creative free alternative would be to enjoy the free 40 hours of Pandora, and then go to one of the alternatives throughout the month, since it appears that the consensus seems to almost be that it’s my constitutional right to have Pandora or someone provide this service to me free, unlimited and ad free for life?
    C’mon folks. It costs to provide the service and hmm, I get paid when I go to work, so either I collect that money from folks that would like to watch me work, or folks that like the service I provide.
    Is there something better? I haven’t a clue, but I’m finding Pandora pretty nice and for the price of 3/4 of a latte per month I don’t understand why everyone seems to be incensed by either the free or the paid alternative.

    • Yes, Slacker has all that Pandora has to offer for the same price, and more.

      You can pay $4 a month for Pandora One and get unlimited music and no ads, but you still can only skip 6 times an hour, across all your stations. That’s absolute bull.
      You can pay $4 for Slacker and get unlimited music, no ads, and unlimited skips. On top of that, you can cache up to 25 stations on your smartphone and play those stations without data or wifi. Every time you turn your wifi back on, those stations refresh. Slacker is absolutely incredible.

      Oh and did I mention Slacker has 13 million songs compared to less than a million for Pandora? I was starting to get sick of the same music playing over and over.

  17. It’s so sad to see pandora go in this direction. I remember listening to the website in my highschool class, as I grew and my music interest evolved pandora was there helping me find great music. As time went on pandora for either good reasons or bad started to try and bully me into upgrading. I simply refuse to upgrade not beacuse I don’t belive in pandoras cause, but beacuse I don’t like feeling pressured onto doing things that I feel I shouldn’t have to do. I will gladly listen to advertisements but when pandora put a cap on how much music I could listen to, I felt like pandora was putting a limit on how much I could breath.I know I sound a bit dramatic but music is apart of my life and pandora made my day a bit better. I know the challenges pandora faces but I refuse to be pushed into paying for somthing that feel should be free. I guess I’ll have to use iheart. It was nice knowing you pandora we had some great times.

  18. I hit my 40 hour limit last month as I drive 1 hour to work and listen the whole way… Well when the service doesn’t skip. How can you all be so ungrateful? Pandora offers us a free unregulated service, with the ability to discover 1000’s of artists you otherwise may have never even heard of. Adds every six minutes is a manageable trade off for such service, and $5 a month seems fair to me if you don’t like the commercials. To get premium tv people often pay over $30, and are stuck watching the same channel with the same movies! Bottom line is Pandora offers a product that we all want, but they have bills to pay and it is up to us as customers to help them by eaither paying or dealing with adds. Now of only I could get Pandora to stream all the time.

    • Agree Mike! Our society has become a give me society. Pandora is giving 40 hours a month, you use it more, get a subscription. It had the 0 on every commercial during the election, so I chose not to listen to Pandora at all. It’s about choices folks.

  19. I quickly filled my 100 stations…..please enable more, even with a surcharge. I don’t want to have two pandoras to achieve another 100.

  20. 1) I recently became a Pandora subscriber. During the upgrade process I was disappointing to see that a tax had been applied. Tax? There was no explanation of the tax and it seems that if you say $36.00 is should be just that. Pandora should Include the tax in the price (make the price $34.xx + tax) and then new upgradees won’t be disappointing as I was. The Terms and Conditions has no real definition of what the taxes are – just “Applicable Taxes” – What’s that really? Feels more like a BS fee that’s just going into someone’s pocket.

    2) One of my favorite studio groups, “State Of Bengal” was removed from Pandora without notice. It would have been gracious of Pandora to inform users who have a particular artist as a play hint that the artist is being removed (for whatever reason). This really has me irked.

    I signed up for one year so now I will use the service for that time. It is unlikely that I will re-up next year.

  21. I like pandora a lot and also enjoy listening to the music it has tho i very much disagree with the 40 hour limit. It is a huge drag, I mean it won’t stop me from listening to pandora but I know that a lot have people have stopped listening because of this limit. I don’t really have an issue with the ads either but I don’t really think it is worth to pay .99$ just to listen to music (I frequently hit the limit).

  22. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was conducting a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast because I discovered it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to discuss this matter here on your web site.

  23. note to Pandora

    I LOVED Pandora when i first started listening. i didn’t even try any other free music stations. Then ads started. Then $3.99 for unlimited music w/no ads. NO! even 99 cents with MORE ads seems odd. i agree w/comment above: more people would subscribe @ lower rate. $1 – $2 per month with NO ADS seems reasonable to me.
    Also, i listen on iPad or iPhone all day long sometimes. The number of songs i can skip is limited -OK. i wouldn’t skip so many if
    1) you will tell me how to delete an artist or genre i no longer want, and
    2) you will play more songs from artists and genres on my list, not just the same 2 or 3 current or most popular. e.g., i LOVE Creedence Clearwater Revival, but only their top 3 most famous songs are played in shuffle mode, and it gets irritating hearing the same songs over and over. Jimmy Buffet is an exception; for whatever reason, a huge variety of his songs are played.
    one more thing:
    &@%#!! i spent five minutes composing this note to you and it just disappeared when the ‘reaching your limit’ box popped up. i had to start over and try to recall exactly what i had written. wrote it in another app then cut and pasted here in case it popped again. thanks a lot!
    Ironically, as i’m typing this, i’ve convinced myself to look elsewhere. If i don’t find a better fit, i may be back… As I said, i LOVED Pandora when i first discovered it…

  24. This is a terrable way of doing this. Pandora one is a good idea as an option. I listen to amvient music to sleep n have used my “40hours” , this is rediculous.if i dnt mind comms then i should have free UNLIMITED access. Thats why the advertisers pay you not me. After three years of avid n loyal listening, you have love me and my family

  25. 1. Everyone who complains about something for free should stop and realize that everyone who has $30 to spend in a year on music (that’s a lot of people, like…not the 1%) thinks they are whining children. Period. I can safely assume that anyone who doesn’t pay for Pandora has also spent 0$ on music recordings in the same year.

    2. Secondly, for anyone not aware please search the web for articles about “Pandora Vs. Artist Royalties” and make your own educated decision as to weather or not you would support Pandora, or Artists. It’s kinda important.

  26. Continued…..
    I guess us 4%ers can go fuck ourselves……right?
    Well guess what pandora? I hope you are happy to know that ill be listening to iheart radio now. Goto hell, I hope people stand up and fight for the free world (or what little we have left of it) and refuse to join your lousy membership as I definitely will not. Do not give in to these oppressors!

  27. Wow, what a bunch of whiney cheap-o’s!! If you love Pandora’s service, and hate ads, pay up and stop being such cry babies. Pandora provides an epically awesome service – infinite playlists of only music you want to hear – and does so for one entire year for the cost of three cocktails. I feel lucky it’s as affordable as it is. Want a spotify subscription? Get ready to pay 4 times more. And no other service predicts and learns against your tastes as well as Pandora, and the music genome project and all the world’s music is there for your meta-tagged, algorithm-predicated listening pleasure. Instead of crying your sad sorry song of being capped and being wronged you bunch of sorry broke naive pansies, try supporting a great company that deserves and earns every penny. Instead of hurling complaints, step up, pay up, and help join the positivist movement of people who want the better companies with the better services to stay around longer so we can all enjoy their products.
    stick that in your everything should be free pipe and notice you suddenly can’t catch a fire.

  28. If you want commercial free and unlimited, you pay 4 dollars per month. If you want the free stuff you get commercials AND you are limited to 40 hours per month. Seems fair to me!

  29. Why in the heck does Pandora care if I’m using a mobil or not? I use my phone to power a stereo system in the garage while I work at home. Using the exact same wifi router my PC uses… yet I hit this limit. Makes no sense to me. So if I had a spare laptop in the garage it would be free again.. using the exact same internet pathway. confused.

    On a side note I’d like to thank Pandora for making me look elsewhere. So many options out there these days! .. and I never would have looked for them.

  30. Used to use Pandora all day every day. Now will never use again (hit my 40 hour limit after about a week, there’s no way “only 4% of users will be affected”). On to slacker.com

  31. Yeah, I do not believe the 4% thing at all. I let my toddlers listen to music during the day and I will hit that 40 hours in one week. This is supposed to be radio, not itunes, of COURSE people listen to 40 hours, its passive listening. And paying won’t make it ad free, I might as well turn on a free radio station somewhere else on the net. I have to still listen to stupid commercials and the same songs over and over again on here anyway, maybe there will be more variety somewhere else. This is not what this service was supposed to be about.

  32. What the hell I got this app for free so I can listen to music for free and now your controlling how many hours we can use the app this is dumb and you guys are going to lose alot of people over this then you guys will regret it

  33. As soon as I got this notification I went to Spotify. I’ve never looked back. I’m only on this now because my girlfriend still uses pandora and I was curious if they backed out on this yet.

    (If n

  34. I am frustrated as well. I OFTEN GET 2 COMERCIALS IN A ROW!!!!!! I’ve even had my song cut off to a commercial, after just listening to an ad!!! I usually average 2 songs per commercial. I have an extremely diverse music library; does this contribute to my seemingly insane amount of commercials? Do some stations have more commercials than others? I do listen quite often, but I stopped listening for about 6 months to try and “reset” my listening time, (I bought CDs to fill my music needs, which are becoming harder and harder to find) and when I started my Pandora back up there was no noticeable difference.
    P.S. As a small time artist myself, I know that the only people getting the money are the record companies, not the people who dedicated their lives to their art. Buy a T-shirt at the next live show your at to really support musicians.

  35. I understand both sides of the coin here: “you whiney cheapo” comments really see a lot of value in this program and willingly hand over their wallets. What you don’t understand is that this is a “radio” station, we can’t rewind it or control it like our own personal music, now with ads that we begrudgingly accepted, because it is kind of personalized. WE all should re-evaluate the value of what we are getting in everything instead of being so greedy. That goes for the artist’s companies (demanding more royalties) to the corporate side of Pandora (trying to maintain profits when costs go up) and the consumers who just nod their heads and fork over more of their paychecks for services. (You already pay so much just to have a mobile device or WiFi in home)

  36. i for one used to hit the limit all the time. guess what i did? i got pandora one!!! stop being a fucking cheap wad. i support pandora cuz they’re down to earth people, and trying to bring us a good thing!!! listen on

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