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. Ben
    April 13, 2013 at 5:52pm
    I am sort of unsatisfied by this change I use pandora for at least six hours a day. It helps me get through my day and I hit my limit but that's not the bad part I went to pay for the rest of the month and it wouldn't let me. Also I don't have a computer. This may help the company but it's going to cripple some of your listeners who listen religiously and may not be able to pay for pandora one or the rest of the month.
    1. Brandon
      April 16, 2013 at 3:57pm
      I agree this pandora limit thing. it's a bit rediculis I heard about this and I don't have the money for a monthly subscription to pandora one or the fee if I go over. I don't have a credit card. I am a big listener to pandora morning day and night for me that racks up the hours. "Not cool"
      1. Sudukilldash9
        April 20, 2013 at 4:55am
        You don't have enough money to pay $0.99 on months you go over the limit? At most that is less than $12 a year. Let me guess. You have enough money to buy a cup of coffee every day, have a smartphone, have Internet access, etc but you don't have enough money to pay an insignificantly small price for a service you enjoy because you feel it should be your god given right to unlimited music. You sir, are what is wrong with this world.
    2. Ashley
      April 18, 2013 at 11:27pm
      I've already deleted my pandora app on my phone. This is ridiculous and total non sense. I won't be using pandora at all after this!
  2. alberto
    April 13, 2013 at 7:42pm
    I just reached my limit..this is b.s....I'm switching to aol radio...pandora was good but
  3. Roy
    April 14, 2013 at 12:57pm
    First of all $4 dollars a month . Who's going to pay that much . Over $50 a year. What! Your ads should cover for all the free listeners . Now your cutting people off and giving a bad name for yourselves. Good job! I switched from slacker radio bc I thought your station was better, Wrong! Slacker here I come bye bye pandora. Deleting all my accounts and telling everyone else to advise the same . Sell outs!
    1. Josh
      April 21, 2013 at 6:38pm
      You pay more for internet connection/ phone bills.
  4. Samie
    April 14, 2013 at 6:08pm
    Can't believe you are starting to charge for the service... I will no longer be using pandora... U lost a loyal client cause u want to be greedy and start charging for service... Hope it all works for your company
    1. Joe
      April 18, 2013 at 8:44pm
      A "client" pays for a service. Granted, I don't pay either, but i'm also not considering myself a customer when I don't pay or want to pay as in your case...
    2. Josh
      April 21, 2013 at 6:16pm
      Pandora has to pay for every track they play. They have a whole lot of listeners. Ads don't generate a whole lot of money. This adds up.
  5. Jacob Bassett
    April 14, 2013 at 7:15pm
    Just going to say my opinion of the app just when down... im looking for any way to listen without having to go through you...
  6. Kristen
    April 14, 2013 at 7:24pm
    I'm curious as to how you calculate the 40 hours. I rarely use Pandora because I work in a call center for a healthcare company and am not allowed to listen to music on the job. I've probably listened to a combined 5 hours, maybe a little more since April 1st, but I got a notice saying I only have 5 hours left. I choose Pandora over Spotify because the selection is better, but I'd much rather pay for their premium service and be able to choose the songs I want to listen to. We had a good run, Pandora. If your listening calculations were correct, I'd continue listening.
  7. Chantel
    April 15, 2013 at 11:02am
    I listen to Pandora most days at work. Halfway though the month and I just received notice that I have 5 hrs left of pandora radio for the month of April. Found this page to see what was going on. I've used pandora for awhile now and have always enjoyed the free radio, even with the ads (some were funny so always gave me a laugh). Based on the principle of the idea of free radio, I have switch to IHeartRadio. Will not listen to Pandora on home computer even though free out of principle.
  8. Support @ Pandora
    April 15, 2013 at 11:15am
    This limit only applies to 4% of the user base; then why have that limit at all since the main (96%) portion of the cost is from the other part of the user base... Doesn't make sense to charge that small percentile of listeners. Don't the ads support the cost of the system?
    1. Captain Obvious
      April 23, 2013 at 5:21am
      No. Ads don't cover the cost of the 40+ hrs crew - hence the limit.
  9. A. Rodriguez
    April 15, 2013 at 7:41pm
    This 40 hour limit will surely make you lose many talking on behalf of the millions of teenagers worldwide who look at music as a way to relieve stress n get thru the day...many of which these teenagers may not even own a credit card to be able to pay for this...sorry to say this but Pandora, you fucked yourself out of millions of listeners.
  10. Jason
    April 15, 2013 at 9:36pm
    Your going to lose a hell of a lot more than 4% with this one pandora

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