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. I’m not happy with Pandora one at all . You pick a genre of music which is what your paying for and Pandora plays everything BUT what you want to hear ! You try to use the thumbs down button to eliminate what you don’t want and conversely use the thumbs up button to show what you do want and Pandora one still plays the type of music or artists you’ve just rejected . To the point I hit the ridiculous “thumbs down limit ” all the time and STILL have crap playing I don’t want to listen to . Seriously thinking of dropping this format . And I’ve noticed that even when you do get the artist or genre you want , it’s some sort of odd not up to snuff recording such as live , acoustic or acappella (unplugged )type you’ve never heard before and now know why ! Pandora , get with the program or your going to lose another customer . I don’t get to listen or play music (drummer)that much anymore so when I do get the rare chance to get in my studio I want to listen to what I want to hear , not what someone else wants me to listen to and especially when I’m paying for it .

    • It’s also annoying that when you click on the album or CD cover you get a lengthy justification about why the musical genome system picked that particular song rather than the more important information about who is playing in the band, when and where it was recorded and other information about the music. The decline from extensive liner notes on albums to brief notes (if at all) on CDs to the self-serving text on Pandora has diminished the experience of listening to music. Pandora, will you consider replacing your justification of the musical genome system with information about the music we are listening to?

    • I have never had that problem. My station (free account) has a perfect mix of what I like. It very rarely throws in a new, wrong, selection. I simply thumbs down and it goes back to the type of music I have. Perhaps you can try to make a new station with the particular artist you like. Then you can add specific artists to that station. After a couple sessions of thumbs up/down, it should give you a great station.

      • Pandora is nothing but crap. Guess I can’t say it sucks hot air. But it does suck.

  2. First you are the cheapest company not using a real forum rather than the crap wordpress is!

    You play EIGHT COMMERCIALS, troll VERY POOR PEOPLE who ask you for help and then glitch during your “activity” so we have to start ALL OVER and STILL have dozens of commercials in THAT FOUR HOURS IF WE ARE ALLOWED THEM!

    You are SICK at Pandora. Muting people on twitter who have serious issues with your VERY BORKED DATABASE that shows the WRONG LYRICS and plays the WRONG SONGS on feeds.

    You are SO GREEDY you pay LESS than RADIO to artists! SICK.

    You don’t care about customers at all – the very poor are at the mercy of a “service” that uses an ALGORITHM and believes it’s spending more than it actually is.

    PANDORA, you need serious help.


  3. Must you people be so DANG sensitive? The people controlling this CONVENIENT radio station are wasting most of their time to keep it up for your enjoyment!!!!!

    In my opinion, Pandora is the perfect type of radio station that allows customization.

    FYI: the “adds” you are complaining about happen to be what keeps you FREE music running, and encase you haven’t noticed, they are all over the WWW (ex. YouTube). I can’t imagine how many times yall call the tv stations only to complain about commercials! Well, they are a part of life, so suck it up; if you have a problem with them, no one is stopping you from canceling Pandora. Pandora was not made to be “perfect.” nothing in this world is. Therefore, you people are the ones that need help, manners to be specific. Let me know if you find something perfect.

    If you disagree, BITE ME

    Unlike you guys, some people like to use Pandora for relaxation. Not 24/7 use.

  4. It’s my understanding that the limit was for the free version of pandora. The paid version is super cheap. Do you all think you are entitled to free music? That’s what is wrong with this world today, to many of you feel you should be entitled to everything. What about Pandora? They have to eat too. If I spent all of my time and resources developing a useful product I would want some form of compensation. You all act as though there aren’t people with families and needs behind these various services, including Pandora. I would like to suggest that you put yourselves in their shoes and ask yourself, “would I want to work for free?” The answer would probably be no. Get your mind out of the entitlement thinking and start finding ways to contribute to the things you love. Get involved and stop being so dependent on everyone else.

    • Yeah, I love Pandora. They rock. I hope they can keep the ads to a minimum, but that’s a balancing act they have to manage themselves. I think they value they offer is fantastic. If I had a complaint it would be the limit on the number of stations you can have (100) per account.

    • Agree 100%. I’ve tried some of the other internet radio stations out there and have always came back to pandora, and in my mind its far better than the $150 a year I pay for XM and I pay what, $40 a year?? Can’t beat it. Keep up the good work guys, I’m in business myself – you can’t give everything away, you guys rock.

  5. yeah just joined and quit same day.. keep getting all these songs not related to what I like ( and I gave them about 30 favorites) not worth having to hear 10 bad songs to get 1 good one…I am out…………..

  6. I’m suspicious of the picking algorithm. I have 93 likes and more often than not it plays those tracks over and over versus new tracks of the same genre. I currently have 15 stations in a shuffle and get repeats. I sometimes hear the same track 3 times in a day.

    Beastie Boys
    Billy Bragg & Wilco
    Brooks & Dunn
    Butcher Babies
    Candy Shop
    Carlos Mencia
    Gabriel Iglesias
    In This Moment
    Insane Clown Posse
    Marty Robbins
    Stephen Lynch
    Tenacious D
    Tommy Tiernan

    I think there is more than enough breadth of variety to not hear the same track twice a day.

  7. I remember when I first started with Pandora, very little commercials but now its way beyond too many, they could play 2 commercials and you change stations and more commercials back to back, they have become greedy and are losing customers

    • Did you not read the post they made saying that their costs have risen 25% and are projected to increase another 16% over the next couple years? How can they keep giving everything away?? Why should they pay money out of their pocket so that you can listen to their free music all to bash them here anyway…some people…whens the last time you pulled out your wallet and gave money to a complete stranger?

  8. I can’t even log in says it can’t find my info, funny I have it written down from when I signed up. I am not buying into anything thing without testing it out and I was only on for a short time when I did sign up cause it quit playing

  9. So far, Pandora is a minor miracle to me. But then, I listen to 90% Classical and 10% Jazz, so I’m not a typical listener. The occasional commercial is annoying but jeez the system is free! I do wish they’d play complete works, and I wish there were an intermediate membership level so I didn’t have another nuisance monthly bill, but overall I’m slightly shocked at the sense of entitlement going on with some people. Free? Free? What part of free is unclear?

  10. I tried to pay for it first but after only being able to skip six songs for a whole day it’s just not worth paying for it. This was numerous times. Not to mention they played complete opposite of what I would choose.

    I recommend everyone to look around the web, people have found ways around the skip limit.

    If the limit goes away I can deal with ads. That I would pay for.

    • Well every time I try to sign it says it’s not right e-mail address or password. I wrote it down when I joined. I do enjoy the different music. Hope it improves

    • Hmmmm,

      So you study and it is cool as long as you are listening to music. If an ad comes on you are greatly distracted? So you think this philosophy will help you once you reach the end result of your studies? You are going to spend your professional life tuning into Ipad with no distractions? I wish you the best.

      Sent from my iPad


  11. Companies like you are the reason I stay away from Apple products. Keep it up Pandora and penny pinch your way back to the bottom. There are a thousand people ready to take your place. Goodbye Pandora

    • Says the penny pincher who doesn’t think that having unlimited streaming music isn’t worth paying $4.00 a month. You can’t even buy an album for that price and maybe 4 songs at most. Don’t be such a cheapskate. Paying listeners support the artists who made the music we enjoy and take for granted. Advertising only pays for so much.

      • Penny pincher?

        Two meals for $5.00.

        Two gallons of gas for $5.00

        Four loaves of bread for $5.00

        We can’t afford Pandora – some are stretched that thin and you are being really ridiculous for not having any empathy whatsoever.

        Glad you have the five bucks to play with, but many Americans DO NOT.

      • Yeah … if you can’t afford five bucks per months for something as life-support-crucial as streaming music, maybe you should sell your computer or cancel your cell phone plan to raise cash.

        Or, you could always ask Mr. Obama to create a new program to help Americans in your tough situation. :-)

    • I am amazed at the number of folks who complain about what they don’t like about what they get for free (I pay for mine). Also, the hit on Apple. If you don’t choose to own something or you have the tech savy to determine it is inferior, I respect you. But to bash something because you can’t afford it is crap. I am a pro photographer and would love to own a Hassey or Red One camera, I don’t have $50,000 to spend, but I don’t trash them because of it. Just will have to make do with my Canon 500 mm f4 L series.


  12. The volume becoming much louder during ads is SO ANNOYING!!! I was actually considering upgrading but honestly I’ve become so irritated with Pandora over this stupid sneaky feature that I wouldnt in a million years give them my money now.

  13. I really enjoy listening to Pandora at work. It keeps me focused. Why i do not like or appreciate is the commercials from Kim Cattrall regarding listening to her menopause music selections. Please remove that or get jer to create a different message. It is somewhat embarrassing when her commercial comes on and I have people in my office..

  14. Too BAD Pandora did not like me paying $36 UP FRONT each year! Guess they want more. Never got the opportunity to stay on at the discounted rate altho they CLAIM they emailed subscribers. I see so many folks say the same thing: no chance to stay on. So its either $60 or hit the road. “On the road again” is my mantra. Hope they learn from Netflix but DOUBT it.

  15. Really? No lyrics now? No explanation as to why? My kid with Autism liked to sing along and reading the lyrics helped with reading and speech.

    • Pandora had many issues with lyrics – the fix is for them to allow customers to gain time by adding lyrics to their favorite songs – and able to be edited by anyone with proof that the words are corrected.

      The way they were doing it might have been a paid service and if it was, it was a horrid one.

      I saw lyrics for classical movements, pop lyrics put to hymns, and of course, the ever popular commercials overlapping on top of the songs which also play two at a time a LOT now.

      • I can understand Pandora support not having the resources to make sure that every single lyric to every single song is correct, and probably suffered a backlash by anal listeners, and possibly some artists, themselves. I don’t know the legal ramifications that could be brought by artists and labels in the event of inaccurate lyrics.

        However, as you stated, editable lyrics seem to be a good idea. Spotify currently has add-ons that offer editable lyrics, however limiting it may be. But, look at Wiki’s success, even while allowing edits to their information.

        I’m sure that as a business, they have to weigh the benefits and detriments to each decision. Naturally, someone will always be unhappy. In addition to many others, I chose not to renew my Pandora subscription, as the lyrics were a key benefit to me. I still support Pandora, and wish them success in the future!

    • Hi Julia, sorry for all the confusion. Currently, they’re unavailable as we explore if & how they will be reintroduced. We definitely welcome your feedback on this. Please email our Listener Advocates and let them know how you feel so your feedback can be passed on. -Katie

      • Hello Katie! I just wanted to follow up and see how your exploration is coming along. Just wondering whether Pandora has reached a decision about whether to bring back the lyrics.

        As someone mentioned below, allowing editable lyrics might be something to consider, if you haven’t already. Spotify currently has an add-on that offers editable lyrics. Looking at Wikipedia’s success, even while allowing edits to their information.

        I’m sure that as a business, Pandora has to weigh the benefits and detriments to each decision. Naturally, someone will always be unhappy. Unfortunately, due to these limitations, I chose not to renew my subscription. Perhaps in the future, I still support Pandora, and wish them success in the future!


  16. Well i just hit the limit :'(
    Imma try another music app because this wont work for me i usually spend 3 hours or more listening to music so the 40-hours- limit will only last my a day and a half or so
    I really enjoyed you Pandora <3

  17. So why are the lyrics not there now???? Not finding a clear explanation for Pandora’s solution in the thread. I find I look for them often only to see they are not there…..

    • Sorry for any confusion, Sharon. Currently, they’re unavailable as we explore if & how they will be reintroduced. We welcome your feedback on this. Please email our Support team and let them know your thoughts on this so your feedback can be passed on: http://pdora.co/writeus -Katie

  18. I am a Pandora One subscriber, I am getting “We’re sorry, but we can’t find any more music to play on your station right now. Try switching stations.” I emailed customer service 5 hours ago. Since you don’t have live real-time help (phone or chat) for paying customers, why not at least make your error messages helpful? A non-specific error message without live help or the ability to self-troubleshoot is the equivalent of hold music…for hours. That’s bad service in any industry, especially a competitive one like yours.

    • Sorry for the trouble, Steve. It looks like someone is helping you now, but please let him know your thoughts so it can be passed on. -Katie

  19. Pandora gives me enjoyment anytime i want it, 24/7.all for 4.00 a month. Tried it for free, decided to pay for it so it will be around for me to enjoy. it is an awesome value. To all you people listening for free, you can thank people like us that pay for it so you can listen for free,so stop you damn bitching. To Pandora thank you for the great service. I do really miss the lyrics, it enhances the music experience, also for me 100 stations are not enough. ( not bitching, just saying).

  20. I love Pandora….love love. Is there a way to have two sets of stations. I like to shuffle them, and I’d like one set with no curse words ever, so I can use it at school, but would like a different set to listen to at home. Is this possible?

  21. I enjoy using Pandora One, but a bit upset that the music just stops after 6-8 minutes, then I sometimes get a message about “buffering.” I have fiber-optic connection so download speed is not a problem. This is not a problem with my router, extender or smart radio, rather a problem with YOUR feed. It is disconcerting to be listening to music on the iMac, the iPOD, or the smart radio then to suddenly have the music stop after 6-8 minutes. Please fix or advise me of YOUR fix, thank you. The staff at my doctor’s office have the same problem!

  22. Hi Tim,

    I am trying to subscribe and pay the fee and it is not moving to the next screen for me to do so.

    What can I do?

    Thank you,

  23. I keep receiving the error message, “We’re sorry, but we can’t find any more music to play on your station right now. Try switching stations.” I was customizing music on my computer while listening to my music on my phone so it was a mistake that I got this message. Please fix this. I really enjoyed this service and this is a horrible experience.

  24. I am really enjoying my Pandora music on the Jesus Christ the Apple Tree radio station (classical). One comment is that the sound levels change when different pieces are played, meaning it has to be adjusted or it will be too loud/soft. Is there not a way to make the sound stay at the same level? If so, I’d appreciate knowing how to do it. Thanks in advance!

  25. Got me, I use either an Iphone or Ipad linkrd via Bluetooth to a Bose speaker and all is well. I pay for Pandora. Most of the complaints seem to be from folks who get it free. The issues raised by subscribers haven’t happend to me. Maybe they are experincing ID 10 T errors.

    I devloped medical and financial software apps. It was common for users to have that type of error. But they would really get upset if you asked them if their computer had power.

  26. So is there or isnt there a hour limit for mobile? You guys @ Pandora say that you lifted the hour limit per month, yet i received an e-mail not two seconds ago saying I’m about to be cut off unless i pay or use my computer. I’ll go without it for the rest of the month if i have to, but give me (and US) a little transparency.

  27. I mean you guys think you provide enough but some of my stations don’t have who i wanna listen to.i strongly agree that if you guys gave us more stations Pandora would be better. And what happened to the lyrics?

  28. da funk, i pay for pandora one, why am I getting We’re sorry, but we can’t find any more music to play on your station right now. Try switching stations.

  29. I never have a problem finding new music on pandora, and people are just pathetic over exaggerators 85% of the time. I love Pandora and the moment my budget allows me to go to Pandora One I will. Through Pandora I’ve been able to expand my tastes to so many beautiful classical and piano pieces, trap dub step, metal, horror core rap, and so many new genres. Also, when I’m playing my classical station I never have like a Taylor swift song pop up, so I’m just confused by what people are even bitching about when it comes to their next song. I have ads every like 10 songs or so, I’d you don’t like it, fine. Go to another service but maybe if you expanded your music tastes to different genres and explored ALL the music Pandora has to offer you wouldn’t have such a problem. Plus, you want that specific of a song? Go to YouTube and play it. But stop bitching and blaming Pandora for so many little things, it’s hard to cater to every single user, especially millions, and you’ll never please everyone so they’re doing they’re best and I appreciate it. It’s not like they’re recycling our accounts if we go 6 months without using it….. ;)

  30. Pandora has been powering me through indoor cycling workouts since it first went “on the air”. My computer is in another room so I cant always quit what I’m doing and fool around with a cell phone.I dont always get what I want but I remember FM radio’s early days and it wasnt always great either.Pandora more than serves my simple needs and if the rest of you whiners have a better plan then get on with it!Good luck ever getting everything you want all the time for nothing!!

  31. I would love to know why you won’t subscribe me and I have been trying for months. Love when our economy and government say things are free when really nothing is ever free. Pretty sad what our solidity has come toward each other. Plus people love to alway bitch about how theycarn’t getting equal rights from our government but yet their the ones making billions. ONLY WHEN IT’S CONVENIENT RIGHT!

  32. I remember about a year ago I stopped listening to Pandora due to they covering my whole screen with an ad, and then the implementation of double commercials. Needless to say, I became frustrated and uninstalled the app. Just recently I asked myself whether they stopped the bombardment of those ads and checked them out once again. OMG! It is worse now than before. Now, they only give you two to three songs before bombarding you with three consecutive commercials. What’s next, four commercials every couple of songs? Lol… Uninstalled, again.

  33. Enough already Pandora!! I understand that you have to have ads but do I have to suffer through SPANISH ADS as well!!!! I don’t even listen to Spanish music!! It’s bad enough having to be subjected to foreign languages in billboards and shop signs! Last I remember this was still the United States and our OFFICIAL LANGUAGE FOR BUSINESS IS ENGLISH!!! We want there to be no segregation…well that’s just another form of it! If we don’t understand what your saying or writing then the message is that you don’t want to include anybody other than those whom speak/write that particular language! We should not feel alienated in our own country! And by the way, I am first generation American and come from Spanish speaking parents but they had enough decency to learn English. Pandora, you are contributing to the loss of American culture and standards by allowing these ads and providing a crutch for those whom don’t find it important to learn English for which you should be ashamed!

  34. my husband doesn’t like hearing about menopause music on his Sabbath channel and I don’t know what the f it has to do with music at all

  35. I dislike the new update it won’t play my old favorite songs I wish I never updated it. I always have loved Pandora but the update just isnt working so please do something about this.

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