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)


  1. James Green
    April 10, 2013 at 9:42am
    There you have it America...we have become a bunch of self-absorbed, cry-babies, whining about our free milk supply being controlled. Look, if you can afford a smartphone, table, or a computer,a decent pair of earbuds, and pay a monthly charge to your ISP or carrier, then you can damn-well afford $12/Yr. or $36/Yr. Or, won't your mama give you that extra money? Oh, wait, I forgot... some of you are streaming Pandora on your employer's WiFi or LAN/Internet while you are designing rockets or nuclear power plants.Guess you'll really be pissed when your employer figures that one out and blocks your access. The free puddin' is over...'cause you didn't eat your meat!
  2. Kathy
    April 10, 2013 at 11:45am
    I listen to Pandora 40 hours a WEEK at work every week of the year! Yes, I listen for free and patiently watch and interact with the ads to enjoy "4 hours" uninterrupted only to have it ask me to do it again in an hour. Many times it does not even give me the 4 hour opportunity or after completing the task with the advertiser it won't let me go back to Pandora for another 20 minutes or more so I give up and get 1 more hour. I realize that the ads pay for me to listen free and I appreciate, respect and accept that. So why don't I receive the 4 uninterrupted hours I deserve? I saw several comments regarding Slacker radio, a site I have not heard of, but will certainly give it a try!
  3. j
    April 11, 2013 at 3:04pm
    This is ridiculous its April 11th and i have already used up my 40 hours. Spotify here i come.
  4. Jaime
    April 11, 2013 at 9:38pm
    I'd just prefer more ads....I'm switching to spotify.
  5. andrew ballantyne
    April 11, 2013 at 11:15pm
    JS i listen to pandora all the time even when im trying to sleep at night i fall asleep to the soothing sounds of music even if the music isent soft lol.but placeing limits on the ppl who do go over 40 hours is kinda not saying its a bad idea because money is money and even you and everyone else needs it and i understand this may change later in the future to unlimited forever.but im just saying for those 4% or even 2% who do go over the 40 hour limit(i already have) i think there should be a rule and im not saying this is a bad suggestion but could help you gain more hours.but look for those 4 to 2%s who do go over the 40 hour limit and see that you can make it unlimited because before after every other few songs i heard a commercial and every commercial brings you more money right? well i heard atleast about 10 to 20 a day and god knows how many i heard when i was asleep with the pandora radio on my mobil Iphone 4 when i was sleeping so you should just make the 4%s unlimited again for good
  6. Michelle
    April 12, 2013 at 1:55pm
    I have pandora one, but my kids and husband do not! They are all switching because its only 12 days into the month and have already been cut off!!!! If you start charging your most loyal customers you won't have many left! I am not paying for every member in my house to have pandora! The more your rates increase the more you will want to charge!!!!!!!!
  7. John H.
    April 12, 2013 at 5:10pm
    Can you please create an option to add more than 100 stations? You could even charge more for it. Could call it something like Pandora One Plus, or Pandora Platinum or something like that. Would be another way to generate extra revenue. I quickly maxed out the 100 stations i'm alotted and would have like to have had more. I suspect there are many others out there besides me. Would be money in Pandora's wallet to support this awesome company/venture. Could you give me 3-5 years of free Pandora for my idea?
  8. Bennie Smith
    April 12, 2013 at 8:51pm
    I really like Pandora, and I don't see $1 busting anyone's budget. I really doubt that anyone who can't pay a buck would be much of a customer for something being advertised.
    1. Private
      May 18, 2013 at 8:24pm
      It was supposed to be free and funded by advertisements. I think it Is more the principle and betrayal by a brand lots of people grew to love.
  9. Don
    April 13, 2013 at 1:35pm
    No I got that today and It made me so mad guess whos listening to spotify now
  10. Lee
    April 13, 2013 at 4:29pm
    I also listen at work 40+ hours on my iPhone, unfortunately our security settings on the computers won't allow us to access the site. So now I have to find another radio because the second week of April I have exceeded the limit ...very disappointed

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