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. kamertezcan
    April 17, 2013 at 7:30am
    Any type of Music anytime , anywhere. at the tip of your fingers and no commercials ! So worth the $4 a month, would not even mind if it is more . I am tired of people always looking for free stuff . Stop whining and support the music !
    1. Jason V,
      April 17, 2013 at 11:42am
      1. nick
        April 17, 2013 at 9:06pm
        its not free the have commercials that pay for revenue,people are just saying why charge us 4.00 a month if we have to listen to commercials ...pandora is just getting greedy and looking for more money "its not about the people anymore ,its about The money"
    2. Nick
      April 18, 2013 at 9:06pm
      So pandora. 99 cents really? Are people seriously bitching this much about 99 cents. Wow
      1. Nick
        April 18, 2013 at 9:08pm
        Not to mention that people pay for cable...which has commercials....well there is TiVo but you can't skip them all.
  2. Jordan Philip
    April 17, 2013 at 7:41am
    Do your advertisers know that 4% of your users will only see their ads a fraction of the time now?
  3. Jason V,
    April 17, 2013 at 11:41am
    Firstly, Its only $4 a month. One less stop at Dunkin Donuts a month and you have it covered. If you use it everyday then its a worth expense. Ive never hit a limit but i have Pandora One because A. its cheap B. No Ads and C. Its the best variety music player ever. I drive over 2 hours everyday and if i didnt have pandora on my phone i wouldnt get threw it. I dont have the time to go find music to add to my ipod so for me $4 is not bad, if its too much then sorry but dont listen for 40 hours a month.
  4. danielle
    April 17, 2013 at 1:35pm
    i dont listen to pandora 24/7 so it wont effect me but damn for those it does ur gonna loose alot of people
  5. Nita
    April 17, 2013 at 2:34pm
    Well I see that you guys are losing listeners. Well I will be one of them I was just informed I have 5 hours left wtf?! When did this happen I refuse to pay $1 for the remainder of the month smh Pandora will be shutting down soon or later Spotify her I come...
  6. Josh T.
    April 17, 2013 at 5:48pm
    Just to comment on the flip-side of things, I've been a loyal Pandora One subscriber from the beginning. Pandora offers an awesome service. You whiner free-loaders should probably just pony-up and pay, it's only 36 bucks a year...
    1. steve
      April 19, 2013 at 9:20am
      Where I live we have 12 months in a year.
  7. Roger
    April 17, 2013 at 8:52pm
    I have listened "religiously" using your service for years and have built great stations. Now you're telling me I can't enjoy them like I have for so long.... as much as I love your service, I'll be looking into others. Possible goodbye to Pandora...
  8. Zinc159
    April 17, 2013 at 9:55pm
    I use pandora to help with homework and doing my chores I thought it was amazing till I got the 5 hour limit thing.I'm in the middle of the month and not able to pay for the contine for the rest if the month. I'm still in school forget about summer.
  9. Estevan
    April 17, 2013 at 10:36pm
    This limit is ridiculous. You guys are pretty much just penalizing your most loyal customers by setting this limit. I already "went over the limit like 3 day's ago so it didn't even last me half the month
  10. Kita
    April 17, 2013 at 11:06pm
    There should be an option to at least see how many hours we've been listening so that we know instead of having to wait for the "5 hours left" notification. I don't mind the change tho... Some ppl need to find a hobby that are so angry about this lol jk don't kill me!!

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