Pandora One Subscription Changes

Over the next couple of months, we will be implementing some changes to our Pandora One subscription plan so that loyal listeners can continue to enjoy a premium, ad-free Pandora experience.

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 1.37.00 PMWe’ve been fortunate to be able to offer Pandora One at an affordable price since its debut in 2009 at $36 per year and later with the introduction of a monthly subscription for only $3.99 per month. Over this same period, the costs of delivering this service have grown considerably. For example, the royalty rates Pandora pays to performers via SoundExchange for subscription listening have increased 53% in the last five years and will increase another 9% in 2015.

In order to continue to provide an ad-free listening option, we are implementing some changes to the way we price Pandora One, including a modest price increase for new Pandora One subscriptions:

  • Existing Pandora One monthly subscribers that remain active will not experience a price increase at this time and will continue to pay $3.99 per month.
  • For new subscribers, the subscription price will change to $4.99 per month starting in May.
  • Existing annual subscribers that remain active will migrate to a discounted loyalty price of $3.99 per month at their next renewal period.
  • We are ending the annual subscription option.

Beginning this week, annual subscribers approaching their renewal date will be notified as the update is applied to their subscription. Monthly pricing for new subscribers will take effect in May, allowing time for new subscribers to take advantage of discounted loyalty pricing if they subscribe before then.

Our listeners are our top priority and, while this affects only a small percentage of our listeners (3.3 million subscribers of more than 250 million registered users total), we hope that you understand why we have taken these steps. Our goal is to continue to be your go-to internet radio destination and enable you to hear the music you love wherever and whenever you want.

Pandora

The Pandora Team http://www.pandora.com/

853 thoughts on “Pandora One Subscription Changes

  1. Oh my goodness. People seriously are expecting everything to be free, and start to complain and rant about paying the price of 2 cd’s YEARLY for unlimited music that will fit your taste. Man, we’re talking about half a big mac A MONTH for unlimited music.
    All the complaints are crazy. Good luck everybody with your local radio stations and stupid DJ’s talking over all the music. In the meantime, I will be enjoying my cheap, 5 bucks a month Pandora stations.

    See ya!

    • @Mr C

      Free is always better than not free..so many other options you can get for free..I’m talking with no ads once the music starts. Pandora was once the man not any more..

    • I’ve been a loyal Spotify subscriber for about since they started up, paying on a yearly basis. Now I’m getting a price hike from $36/year to $48/year. Considering I only pay $5/month for all the music I want on Spotify for desktop and on my phone (I’m a student, so I get their student discount), I have no reason to keep paying nearly the same amount for Pandora, which doesn’t let me play whatever I like. It was worth $36/year to me to have Pandora automatically find music for me, even though I paid for Spotify for the majority of my listening. It’s not worth $48/year.

      • you are correct. they are going to die. I just told them to eat one if they cannot charge me $36 a year. They can charge new people more, but not their original clientel. Thats just low. Reminds me of XM and I left them also! Now Amazon Music and Itunes Radio will be my main sources of streaming music. goodbye pandora…call me when you are 3 bucks a month again. I cant afford a 33% or 40% rate hike! What are you kidding me?

    • I Agree 100% Mr. C!

      You whiners have a choice of keeping Pandora or dumping them – But don’t start whining over a dollar or two for unlimited music without all of the droning commercials. Seriously!

      Keep up the good work Pandora!

      • Mindy, you don’t get it. Your world your life your choice. Mine is not Pandora. Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone. From: Pandora BlogSent: Sunday, August 24, 2014 4:29 PMTo: nancyamsill@gmail.comReply To: Pandora BlogSubject: [New comment] Pandora One Subscription Changes

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        Mindy commented: “I Agree 100% Mr. C!

        You whiners have a choice of keeping Pandora or dumping them – But don’t start whining over a dollar or two for unlimited music without all of the droning commercials. Seriously!

        Keep up the good work Pandora!”

      • I agree totally Mindy. Unlimited Music. No commercials. Let them go somewhere else.

        MJM

    • I don’t expect everything for free. But considering they are raising the cost. Should I expect some improvement in options? After all they are getting more money. How about more skips or more channels? Or better filtering mechanism?

      Or maybe the greed factor is at play, and we should expect nothing for the extra money, or maybe the greed goes to such a big extent that we should actually expect less for more money. After all we are really just their products. They sell us to the record companies. The less benefit they can give us the more profit for everyone else (Pandora and the record companies). Isn’t that what happened to cable TV. Don’t expect anything else.

      • Perhaps we should just become a sustaining subscriber by pledging a donation every week from our pay so they can expand their customer base and infrastructure. And then charge us more. Somewhere I was taught that if you grow your customer base it should cost less to provide the service. In that train of thought the subscription price should go down instead of up.

        Even though purchasing DVD’s.CD’s, books, etc uses more energy at least you have something to share, sell or give away. I remember I learned of new music mostly from listening to my friends records. We represent dollars and numbers only. This is backed up by poor customer service which makes it nearly impossible to talk to a human.

      • A previous responder noted “customer is king”. I am sorry that only holds true in small town local shops. With a subscription base of thousands, no one individual subscriber has any power. If a few hundred subscribers abandon ship, that is just the cost of business. When you are at the helm, you have the power to guide the ship. Their response to anything you individually dislike is “We only give you what you want”. Big Laugh!

        I actually might consider staying if there was some permanent change to enhance the service. Just collecting more money and cutting down on services to cut cost is not what I consider a mutually benefit transaction. But if you are part of an oligopoly
        the few get to set the rules for everyone else.

        Maybe Pandora was a loosing proposition when it started. I don’t know. Maybe they are at the mercy of the record companies on their cost per song? The successful enterprises will be the ones with good talent and developers that push the envelop. So far I have not seen any significant development in their service. More available songs is not a development in my mind. It is just piling on more hay to an already full barn.

        My point: If I am going to pay more, I expect to receive something in addition to the previous service. Is that not a fair deal?

    • ! am an occasional listener
      and as such $60.00 a year is to much. I also don’t want to be bothered every month with another bill. A reasonable annual rate would work for me.

    • REMOVING THE ANNUAL PLAN AS AN OPTION IS A HUGE MISTAKE. The only reason I subscribe last year is because I could do the annual payment and not some monthly bull—-. I have enough of that monthly billing crap already. If I am not allowed to pay for an entire year by the time I have to renew then I will simply go somewhere else. The price hike is not the problem. Why don’t they just offer the monthly crap as an option.
      “a loyal Pandora One user” being screwed with.

      • This remains an absolute mystery to me. I can see your point if, and only if, the Pandora charge was the only, and I mean the absolute only charge to hit your credit card every month. Then you would only have to balance one charge to one payment annually. Life is good.

        I always assumed that as it related to the use of credit cards, most people were like me. That being, using the credit card for purchases like McDonalds, gas for the car, movies, groceries, a night out with the wife, and so on.

        Which means…..that there are credit purchases showing up on the bill each and every month. Many of them. Many many of them. The five dollar or so charge from Pandora is one of many which need to be paid.

        Now, if a person was watching each and every penny, and if their credit card was always at or near the limit, and the $5.00 charge puts them over the top causing a myriad of other purchases to be denied, then I can see your case. It would be FAR FAR better to have the that massive $5.00 cushion between you and your limit. What a relief! Think of the embarrassment that is saved, and now would be lost, by having that $5.00 added every month.

        Not to mention all the extra accounting work involved in adding that one, single, solitary Pandora $5.00 charge to your total when you check each and every receipt against the charges on the statement. Admit it, you do that, don’t you? Not having to add the $5.00 charge means that a two hour job of matching up maybe one hundred other charges drops the time to a couple of minutes of work, tops, and all because you were able to pay Pandora once a year at $60.00 instead of one a month at $5.00.

        Which begs a question: If you are so close to your limit that a $5.00 charge throws you over the top, then how do you pay that $60.00 charge once a year? At tax time maybe?

        Just wondering.

        MJM

      • MJM
        You are really off base. It has nothing to do with my credit card balance or limit. Personally my credit cushion is usually $5K each month – just because shit happens. It’s a personal preference not to use my card(s) for crap under $50. and to pay for all subscription services yearly instead of monthy. I don’t keep money in the bank to waste it on paying my account to figure out stupid charges. Yep.. I am one of those odd folks that pay their water, trash, sewer etc bills once a year.

    • I also prefer to pay annually. I really, really don’t like monthly bills. It has very little to do with the cost; I would pay $48 as an annual charge. But without an annual option, I’m letting my subscription lapse. I may subscribe intermittently, for car trips and such. But unless the annual option comes back, Pandora has lost me as a continual subscriber (and as a continual listener).

      • I would like to pay my electric bill, water bill, mortgage, car insurance, gas bill, car payment, all credit card payments once a year. Can’t do it, man.

        What question you are having trouble framing is this: Would it not be easier to terminate a service that is being paid on a month by month basis than one paid annually?

        Hmmmm?

        I wonder why Pandora did not consider this?

        MJM

  2. I would like to have the option to pay yearly. I have to many other things that I am forced tap my account monthly and do not like it.

  3. I’ve had Pandora One for roughly 4 years now and hate to see it going to monthly only option. In my opinion there should still be a discount if you opt to subscribe for a year. Time to check out competitors.

  4. I agree with everyone else I teach a fitness class and use the clean versions on pandora for my music and it didn’t give me any notice just said my subscription has expired and would I like to upgrade. When I chose to upgrade it gave me the option of $4.99 and no yearly subscription which two things. 1. That obviously is more than what I was paying at $49 a year. 2. I have two many monthly payments coming out already. I have to find another service. Maybe I will go to sound cloud or spottily to check them out.

  5. I just discovered this monthly charge on my credit card statement! Normally this is a yearly charge, but it seems without notice it changes. While it’s still a good deal a little notice would have been nice.

  6. I used to be a Pandora One subscriber and thought it was a good deal even through I didn’t listen all that often. My feeling was that I wanted to support Pandora and was glad it was there. Then, when it went up by $20/yr (a hefty increase) I began to question whether it was worth it to me so I dropped out of the ONE. But I think the thing I object to is the MONTHLY charge… without the choice of a YEARLY charge (and hopefully a subsequent discount on the year) Such as $60/yr when paid for monthly or $50 a year when paid by the year.

    Lacking that, I am back on the freebie subscription which suits me just fine. Still would like to support Pandora.

    • Agreed that’s why I also dumped Pandora One this fall. I switched to iTunes Match instead since I use iTunes for most of my music and it’s affordable. Just one annual payment of $24.99 is needed for iTunes Match.

  7. I subscribed to Pandora One via iTunes in May and renewed it for June and July. However, after some reflection and assessment on the costs of a monthly subscription at $4.99 X 12 months I decided it would be cheaper and better value for me to get iTunes Match. So I let my Pandora One subscription finally expire in August and got iTunes Match instead for $24.99 a yr. Come on Pandora bring back the annual plan and you could win back some defectors. Now that I’m sold on iTunes Match I doubt I would come back just for more skips, and ad free streaming. I like being able to upload my music to Apple’s cloud (not bought on iTunes). Most of my digital music collection is bought thru iTunes or other outlets but is matched with iTunes. Plus I have ad free iTunes Radio. The one good thing Pandora has going for it is its Music Genome Project and it has a head start on the competition in this regard whether it be Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft etc.

  8. I agree with most comments. The fact it changed w/o notice is undesirable.
    I almost made the mistake to completely terminate the account w/o digging any further.
    Yes, there are leeches milking Pandora left and right. That DOES NOT MEAN the loyal supporters have to pay extra for a service that is provided for FREE.
    I agree with Patrick Dunn that maybe a good time to check “FREE sound cloud or FREE SPOTIFY” now.

  9. I do see the need to raise your price, but I will not be renewing unless you put more power into the controls. I do love having Pandora while I work, paint and cook BUT – until there is a “never play this band again” option (so that I don’t have to get paint or butter all over my device if the BeeGees come on to hit thumbs down) as well as an option to exclude an artist from one station but not another. If I am in a Van Morrison mood that means quiet and I don’t want Zepplin screaming at me when I am on that station – but, I still like Zepplin, when the mood is right … get my drift? I’d rather create my own playlists than pay for some algorithm that can’t understand my needs. I will keep watching though, and see if you add some new “station creation” features – or, return to the old pricing. Sorry, a freelance designer over here, I can’t afford to add another monthly bill to my plate :(

  10. I’ve been a subscriber for 4 years, and was not given a chance to subscribe again for less than $4.99/mo. My last subscription payment was the annual rate of $36.00, so to now pay $4.99 x 12 months = $59.88 (a 66% increase) is not going to happen.

  11. Listen, I never agreed to pay on a monthly basis, I WAS a regular PandoraOne user and I suppose since my year must have expired I have been rolled into the monthly plan. As a company I was pleased with the service Pandora provided UNTIL this morning when I saw an email from PayPal letting me know Pandora was taking my money without my knowledge or consent. I was willing to give Pandora the benefit of the doubt in this incident as they do not have my current email on file. However, when I called the Pandora office it was made clear that I wouldn’t be able to speak with a human about my account, only a messed up recorded loop that seemed to be a dead end. This demonstrated an unprofessionalism that I am not pleased to be involved with. I was also shocked that I had to go through PayPal in order to edit my pandora billing account settings. Please be aware that I consider Pandora a remarkable service, however with the rise of so many streaming music sites and the current economic climate, I am now looking elsewhere for my internet radio. Adding a human at the other end of the line would have been enough for me to continue my relationship with Pandora. It appears to me as a customer that Pandora is greedily taking loyal customers’ money while hiding behind their servers and technology purposely providing NO human interaction to avoid any customer conflict. (we are your customers, not a bunch of marks to be targeted for fast cash) Please remember, Pandora is not the only internet radio platform on the market and as such should be organic and dynamically changing to adapt to our consumer needs, while staying competitive.

    Cheers,

    -drobs
    (a longtime former listener)

    • Hi there,

      I’m very sorry for any frustration or confusion you’ve experienced in regards to your subscription. If you are still interested in having a conversation with us about this, please reach out to our Listener Advocates here: http://pdora.co/writeus.

      Rest assured, they are real people and would be happy to address all of your concerns.

      -Kim

  12. An additional 12 dollars a year isnt a big deal. However the annoying monthly popups wasting my is. One lump sum shouldn’t be that hard to process considering it was already available,
    One time a year seems to be reasonable, unless your planning on changing the price through-out the year for auto-renew.

    Could you please bring back annual subscriptions or should I just download my music and stop paying?

  13. I’m fine with the price, but the whole monthly thing is no good. It smells like something right out of darkpatterns.org . I like your service but I don’t trust you enough to give you auto-billing. And I’m not a fan of deciding every month if I want to continue. I’ll probably go find something else. Scratch that, just gifted myself 6 months.

  14. I have been a yearly subscriber to Pandora One for over 3 years and will not be renewing if I cant pay for the full year!!! Complete B.S……Now to find something else to play on the boat, in the car and at home. Cant leave well enough alone.

    • Stephanie, I agree. This monthly charge will throw my delicately balanced budget out the window. I am anticipating that I will need to file for bankruptcy if Pandora cannot change this feature and I choose the service.

      Fortuneately, my high skuul teached me about how capitleizm workz, and I am now preepeared to fite it.

      MJM

  15. I am thoroughly disappointed in your lack of customer service during the recent price hike and mandatory switch to monthly pricing. I was disappointed about the lack of ‘book mark’ functionality from your web application and no offline audio play capability, but this is just pointless. It seems you have won a large share of the market and now plan to penalize your loyal legacy customer base by forcing a $11+ price increase and making everyone pay monthly. This may drive value for your stockholders, help with paying royalties and drive bottom line but your most important asset (the customer) has been shafted. Add to that 1000’s of customers thinking someone has hacked their Paypal account sux too. This is absolutely ridiculous. I’m being driven to end my service, spread the word and find your largest competitor to give my money (even if i have to pay more)! Spotify is looking much better from this vantage point. If I use a student discount Spotify will actually cost the same and offer a far better feature set.

    Offering less functionality and increasing your product cost is not a good business model.

    • I agree with JW.

      I am also upset about bookmarking and offline. Mostly thought I am angrty because you refuse to allow us to use the app to transfer the music directly into the brain using mental telepathy. The advantages for this are enormous and you REFUSE to let that happen.

      Add to that the $11.00 price increase and the HORRIBLE effort it takes to pay the account each and every month. Why didn’t you do the opposite, like requiring us to purchase your service in blocks of ten years at a time? That would have been good customer service. Then I would never have to worry about a charge showing up on my credit card. Instead you show your craven attitude towards shareholders. How dare you do anything that would make your company more valuable. What are you, Communists or something?

      JW is right. You should be punished. And I will move to a music carrier that meets my needs. Someone who will let me stream my songs directly to my brain. So there!

      MJM

      • To MICHAEL J. MONEA:
        I don’t think you are helping the situation – in fact I think your comments are causing people to be more upset. The issue here is not about the price or the fact it’s monthly billing, it’s that Pandora has not built a case for it and that so everyone is upset. I cannot see a reason why yearly billing should be taken away (especially considering the backlash here)

        To Pandora:
        I am currently a free user who was (before the price hike) considering upgrading to Pandora One.

        Personally the monthly billing doesn’t bother me (although there should be a discounted option for a yearly option).

        The thing that bothers me is the appalling customer service shown in these comments. People are giving you this feedback and it is like they are talking to a brick wall. When people are talking to a wall they are likely to look elsewhere. We are talking long term users here so this is quite sad.

        I think you need to properly address these issues and the reasons for them.

        The only thing that keeps me using Pandora is its Profanity filter. Rdio and Spotify are lagging in the department!

      • Josh,

        You state the following: “The issue here is not about the price or the fact it’s monthly billing, it’s that Pandora has not built a case for it and that so everyone is upset.”

        When you go to buy a gallon of gas and the price is higher, or lower, than it was the day or even an hour earlier, do you drive away on a near-empty tank of gas because the company did not “build a case” for the pricing change?

        Reasonably, how a company prices their product is an internal decision. Sometimes the decisions make sense, sometimes they don’t. I don’t fully understand the rationale. It is easier to drop a service being invoiced monthly as opposed to invoiced yearly. But I couldn’t care one way or the other. For me, and probably others also, losing this option doesn’t lessen the value of this service which, even at $60.00 annually, whether paid once or twelve times, is more than worth the cost of listening to my kind of music without commercial interruption, when I want, whether in my home, in my car, on the beach, at work, or wherever you can connect to the internet. It is my experience that Pandora is one of the very few services I receive anywhere that gives me more than what they are asking back.

        As it relates to this matter, it is up to the subscriber to determine if having one additional charge on their monthly credit card statement, out of probably many many others, negates the value of having this unique service.

        Pandora has, in my opinion, been more than reasonable in offering current yearly subscribers an additional year at the current cost. And I would believe, if you ponder it for a while (although I truly cannot say) that you will find this new payment process and change to be irrelevant when compared to the overall service they provide.

        MJM

  16. I am disappointed at losing the annual option. The monthly option is dangerous to those who sometimes approach a zero balance in their bank account. If you don’t remember all of the automatic withdrawals there is a risk of overdrawing your account.
    What is the reason for that change?
    I like the thought of having the account paid for for a year. I hope you can reverse that change.

  17. I prefer to pay for my subscription annually rather than being forced to do it monthly. Right now I am debating whether to keep my subscription or cancel at renewal time. The rate increase doesn’t bother me as much as losing the annual option. just a preference.

  18. hope you can help me with this problem all I need is to change my card on my account to a different one to pay my monthly fee

    • I agree!!

      Annual payments for everything. Mortage, car payments, food, everything. I am tired of paying for EVERYTHING when I get it or one month at a time.

      NO MORE MONTHLY BILLING OR ELSE!

      So there, Pandora. Take that. Nyahh! Nyahh! Nyahh!

      MJM

  19. I’ve been subscribing to Pandora for three years. Bothered at times with how often songs are repeated, but the price was good. I also like the annual subscription option. I would actually have continued for 46/year. Anyway, I’ve been thinking of switching to Spotify which allows more choice. I will do that now. And I already have an Amazon Prime account for book purchases and movies. Music is included. I wish Pandora well. But I won’t return to using it. If you are going to raise the price then you are going to have to improve your services. You really do have far too much repetition of music.

    • Chuck,

      Actually your comments bring out an interesting point regarding improving services. Prices for basic goods such as gas and food often increase without a general consumer demand that the service station or grocery store enhance the purchasing and/or consumption experience.

      I do believe that the royalty cost to steam these songs are increasing. However, I think that the artists ought to receive sufficient compensation so that they are incentivized to cover the costs associated with writing, producing, and then making their creations available to individuals such as myself. To me, a $12.00 increase above the $48.00 I have been paying to cover the associated increase in costs to listen to probably thousands of songs during the year seems reasonable.

      With that being said, there are a couple of enhancements that I think Pandora should consider to improve services:
      1. I would like to have the ability to create a “thumbs up” station. More specifically, I would like to have the option of sending a “thumbs up” song to, without regard to the particular station, to also go to my BEST OF station.
      2. When I select one of my stations, for that listening session, I would like to have the option of including a greater percentage of new songs (of that style) being played, OR, the ability to have a greater percentage of thumbs up songs being played.

      MJM

  20. …so my yearly plan gets changed to monthly; no big deal. THEN, the monthly plan gets cancelled for no apparent reason. To reinstate, I now get to pay an extra dollar a month? Where does it end?
    Go pound sand, Pandora. Your money grab will soon backfire.

  21. WTF is it impossible to find the option to update credit card info??? You sent me the notice with the link and then I only get an option to upgrade to something I already have.

  22. Hi Pandora !

    I’ve been a loyal subscriber (two accounts) since the inception. The free option was great, but I like the service so I have *supported* you all this time… with the thought the price will likely go up over time.
    However…
    1) This increase is a full 33% over last year (and that is WITH the $1/mo discount)
    2) There are some REALLY compelling alternatives now.
    3) I do not like being nickle and dimed every month
    4) Like someone else said… it is much easier for me to cancel a monthly subscription than a yearly.

    PLEASE ! Don’t remind me EACH month that I am paying you. Bill me once a year and be done with it.

    • Yep, my understanding (and what Pandora states) is that they’d switch to a month to month charging, but previous subscribers would have NO increase in their rates for a year. Yep, I’ve been a subscriber for couple of years, yet they’re changing me to a monthly bill, AND the price is increasing by a dollar per month. Not quite making sense…

    • Tom,

      I agree. I am absolutely tired of paying off my car one month at a time. Too much of a hassle. I will be stopping at the bank to see if they will invoice me once a year. Period. That will take a lot of strain off my mind on a month to month basis. If they won’t, they can just take the car back. See if I care.

      It is stupid paying for a service, like Pandora, or a car loan once a month.

      Thanks for your idea.

      MJM

      • There is a difference between a car and the pandora service. And the bank will gladly let you pay once a year if you are willing to pay one or two years in advance.

        When you pay for Pandora you are buying something you have not yet received.
        When you pay for a car you have already received your benefit.
        With gas and other utilities you pay monthly after you receive the service.
        The utility companies will allow you to pay ahead of time. In fact they would
        love it if everybody paid yearly for all of the service they might receive in the coming year. They would take that overpayment put it in an investment and collect additional revenue from the early payment.

        I see the monthly payment as someone reaching in with their hands, once a month and taking something that I owe them, without my approval each month. I want control. If every business did this, I would soon have nothing left and feel out of control. I don’t mind paying in advanced for the service. I just don’t want the head aches of taking into consideration the impact of this service every month when I consider where to spend my money. I already have one company doing this. I don’t want another. If forced to accept this method I will consider my options at that time.

      • I’m pretty sure MICHAEL J. MONEA (MJM) is a Pandora employee that is using a fake personal account to mock multiple customers here in a way he couldn’t do so as a representative of Pandora. I believe his bad analogies are actually being counter productive and only alienating frustrated customers more so. As oppose to convincing them of accepting and adapting to Pandoras new policies.

      • To Just a Guy & Kevin,

        First, I am not a Pandora employee. You need to both think through this a moment. You sent them $48.00 for a year’s subscription. Which is why you are subscriber. Once they received the money, they began your service.

        And when you paid your $48.00, it was for the upcoming year. You paid for 12 months of service ahead of time. You always had control. But not total control. Come on, think about it.

        Now what would happen if you wanted to cancel Pandora mid year? How long would it take to get your money back by check or credit card adjustment? 30 days? 60 days? They controlled when you got your remaining money back.

        Now you get to pay monthly. They email you and say their rates need to go up by $1.00 every month. If you don’t like it, you cancel. End of discussion. No big deal. A lot more control than paying a year ahead of time and waiting to get your money back if you want to cancel at some point before year’s end.

        This month by month charge opens Pandora up to more and more people canceling their service for whatever reason. This is my puzzlement why Pandora made this change.

        A service provider like Pandora can decide to raise their rate from one month to the next. Happens all the time. This issue is not paying monthly. It is ultimately the cost. Here is the only point worth thinking about: Did the $12.00 annual adjustment which will raise monthly rate from $4.00 to $5.00 make this service more costly than the benefit you are receiving from it?

        If yes, you drop the service. If no, then let the charge go through.

        MJM

  23. Like so many others, I don’t understand why I am denied the convenience of annual billing…I don’t like automatic renewals because sometimes they can be very hard to cancel.

    Not to mention being told my only option was 4.99 per month, up from $36 per year.

    Bye.

  24. Well Pandora, we are at an end. I must admit it is going to hurt, as I have loved you dearly these last few years. I swear, we must spend at least 10 hours a day together. But, apparently, we have grown apart as you have changed into something different than I fell in love with. You see horizons ahead for yourself that COULD include me if I would only change, too. But I will not. So good luck to ya! I will miss you!

  25. Pandora is not only sneaky, they are dishonest as well. I dropped my $4.99/month to subscribe yearly, now that can’t be done. The promise of better sound quality with a subscription was not truthful at all. I am very happy to see all the negative comments people are making, especially those made from your loyal customers. They are correct about ending the yearly sub, when that is what they are familiar with. They are also correct in saying, “we have many other places to go”.

    It’s too bad you turned out to be untrustworthy.

  26. I found out about this subscription change by accident. I also do not like monthly deductions from my checking account. It seems that these days it is the goal of most every service company to get you hooked into their service. Many of them make it difficult to cancel requiring you to wait in on the phone for a long time due to High call volume from your area”. And also many times you forget to cancel. I like the option of paying yearly. It’s a win-win for me and Pandora because I get to budget my money and Pandora gets paid ahead of providing the service.

    In my opinion the very least a customer should be given is the option of paying monthly or paying ahead of time yearly with a decent discount. (i.e. $4.99 per month or $48 per year.) That keeps most everyone happy. Do you guys recall what happened when Netflix dramatically increased their monthly rate? You may have a good product – but ultimately we control where our money goes. I do not think anyone expects you to hold the $36 price forever but I don’t think anyone expected the price to jump from$36 to $60/year.

    Also, the increase should be done incrementally so that the increase doesn’t affect us as much. Not everyone here works for Apple, Google or some other rich company.

    On the other side of the coin once you create a station on Pandora and listen to it a while or daily the same songs seem to play over and over again. So you have to thumbs down a song you like because it is overplayed – which is exactly just what the old AM radio stations used to do causing everyone to switch to FM radio.

    For me, I have an easy personal solution. I have over 7000 songs on my iTunes which I own. So I don’t need to renew.

    I’m not my meaning too dis Pandora – I have been a fan from the beginning and hope you guys make it and I stay.

    These comments are offered as feedback and some suggestions.

  27. The comments here is almost representative of how people perceive the United States, everyone wants stuff for free. Pandora provides a service for a fee to their user. The threat of a customer leaving Pandora can’t be that discouraging as all other competitors have the same royalty costs and growth problems. Those companies are likely operating at huge losses because they are attempting to keep up with Pandora and gain market share. They are likely to raise prices as well, because they are businesses, not a non-profit org.

    The price increases are justified as Pandora probably should have been charging way more from the get go. The complaints about the price going up 40% are ridiculous. This is a service you buy with discretionary income. It’s not a necessity. If you are complaining about a premium service costing an extra $40 a year, then you probably shouldn’t own a smart phone if that is breaking the bank. The complaint is that you want more for less. But there are inflation costs, R&D costs, and a whole heap of other costs Pandora incurs to make their interface and experience a premium experience.

    There is a comment here about some who has over 7,000 songs from Itunes. Which means at a dollar a piece you paid $7,000. Thats like 116 years of annual Pandora service. That’s fine, dont use Pandora and listen to your old 7,000 songs. Thats not a good argument for why Pandora shouldnt competitively price their service.

    The reality is the Pandora is building an infrastructure that competes with traditional radio but now put the power in your hand/pocket. If things were truly that bad then Pandora would not exist, but they do because more than any other service, people enjoy Pandora. This is evident by the fact they are the clear market leader.

    The few people complaining about service/fees on hear remind me of the loudest kid in the day care.

    I think Pandora compared to many different companies has a clear direction of where they are heading and how they want to position themselves. All others are trying to catch up right now.

    • Commenting on your comments…

      “We” don’t expect everything for free. It’s the service providers that offer free service in the beginning in order to get us to promote their service.

      When they achieve the number of listeners they like and gain enough positive publicity they go into action by charging. I’m not saying that charging is a bad thing. And my complaint is not about charging me. I joined back before they even had such a thing as Pandora One because I wanted to support their idea and service. I’m not stupid. I realized they have overhead. I do not know their particular business model and frankly I don’t care to know. They have the right to run their service how they seem fit.

      Please don’t blame me for them not charging more from the beginning.

      Whether or not your think I’m a jerk for sounding off or not, I am still a paying customer with an opinion. The main topic of my comment was to complain about how much they raised the price (from $36 to $60) and the lack of a one year subscription.

      And I offered suggestions.

      As far as the 7000 itunes. I can assure you that if I have purchased less than 25 songs between Amazon and iTunes over the years. I own most all my CD’s. All were purchased discounted and used and gifts. And some music is family shared. And when I die my daughter will own them all. She won’t own anything I paid to hear on Pandora.

      What it boils down to is this;

      1. I am in charge of my discretionary income. These is only so much of it to go around so I prioritze based upon value and its importance to me. $60 a year may seem like nothing to you but it does to me. And, with the constant repeats of songs without newer stuff (which is the reason I subscribed) I’ll probably will not renew.

      I do truly hope Pandora makes it. I respect that they need to make money and like their idea. But they have to respect that not all of us can subscribe to Amazon, Hulu Plus, Netflix, sports channels, overpriced cell service etc..

      When I go shopping, sometimes I’ll pay more for a particular brand or item because it is that much better.I do not object to the price being a bit more because I like the quality or the service is worth it.

      Based upon the amount of increase and the lack of a yearly choice which is to me is incredibly dense on their part I doubt I will renew.

      • Yes, welcome to the real world. Many companies operate as a loss from the get-go to build a customer base. At that point, when there is demand, then they monetize their user base by charging a fee, obtaining ad revenues, etc. You seem shocked and off put by that. It really is not that deceiving. Have you heard of this company called Facebook? They built this pretty large online network thing that connects people and now it’s a pretty profitable business, too. Was it that profitable and bottom line oriented from that start? Dont think so.

        Your comments did not convince AT ALL that you were not asking to have more for less. Never before, at any time, has anyone ever had this much music content for such a low price. Now that you got a taste, you can’t ever see yourself going back to the old school days. And you are upset that your free ride is over,(somewhat). The other reason I think you are disingenuous is because you have the option to go back to the free subscription, with ads. But you are too good for that now. You even mentioned you were a loyal customer BEFORE Pandora One. So, whats the problem now? You have Pandora ONE and need it because you are too greedy to give it up. What happened to believing in their service and wanting to see them grow? (Ahhhh internal struggle… need ad…free music…. cant… go……back!)

        Also, no one is blaming YOU for Pandora not charging more from the get go. What I would blame YOU for is that you cant go back to ad free listening. There is an option, but YOU are too good for that.

        I’m not trying to be insensitive, but the math on all this is sort of bothering me. The increase in price comes out to an extra 6.5 cents a day. SIX POINT FIVE CENTS. Okay, I guess that is after tax dollars… I mean cents. So pre-tax it would be like 9 cents a day. I dont make a ton of money, but I cant help but think that if someone is grappling with an extra 9 cents a day, I still think they shouldn’t own a smart phone and definitely shouldnt own a pay subscription of any sort. I have friends who make over 200K a year and they dont have cable at all because they understand sacrifice and dont want to pay for that expensive service. I agree completely with that sentiment.

        Regarding your 7,000 songs, you know yourself that means nothing. No one listens to old stuff over and over. Don’t get me wrong of course I always want to listen to jams I like from previous years, but I would go bonkers without new content. Those CDs and “purchased” music would have to be severely discounted to counter my argument that all that content from CDs doesnt equal a lot of years of Pandora subscriptions. Even at $2,000 for 7,000 songs is 33 years of Pandora service.

        As an aside, I highly doubt anywhere you go you are going to get that much more. If someone told me 20 years ago I could pay $60 a year for hundreds of thousands of songs, I’d be like… what’s the catch? Do I need to give you my soul? But today, you can have it for that price. Crazy right?

        I’ll be the bad guy now and save you from future shock, but prices across the board (hulu, spotify, Pandora) are all going to rise again. (gasp). Seriously though, I want to let you know that now.

      • Well, I’m glad that you got to sound off on issues that are important to you I am really not complaining about.

        What it boils down for me is this;

        1. I don’t care for the monthly billing for these type of services no matter what the price.

        2. For ME, I only use Pandora when I am driving. I’m not going to receive enough value for the service for $60 per year just to listen the the same songs over and over. Maybe iTunes match would work for $24.95 per year.

        3. I am very keen on the fact that prices will go up. When the price exceeds the value that I perceive I’ll not subscribe or renew.

        4. The only two services that I do subscribe to are Amazon Prime which also has free music available in addition to streaming movies, TV shows and 2 day shipping And also Netflix which has an incredible catalog of movies and shows. Both services are always adding content and I feel I receive excellent value which is why I stick with them.

        That’s about all I really have to say about this. Time will tell the story of how Pandora’s service goes in the future. And how many people stick with them.

        The customer is still king. Unsubscribing or not renewing is the only power we have.

  28. Just wanted to add my 2 cents that I too much prefer a yearly subscription as opposed to monthly, even if I was not given a discount for doing so. Further, my credit card had expired and I got a email notice that Pandora wasn’t able to run the upgrade because of the expired card (my bad…I hadn’t thought about it–it’s yearly after all!) I immediately went to put the new credit card number into the Pandora account and discovered I was now considered a 4.99 per month newbie subscriber. This may should silly, but I felt sort of rejected at the notion of starting over from scratch so to speak. It was as if Pandora wasn’t aware I was a regular…like going to the Pub after going regularly and suddenly no one knows my name…NOTICE ME PANDORA! Seriously, I would really prefer to pay yearly and I do not even see any attempt to justify for their removing this option. I am willing to pay FULL PRICE, yearly, in advance and you don’t want my money…?! I would sure like to at least know why! And just because my card had expired, I don’t expect to have to be considered new and automatically moved to the new terms.

  29. My only complaint about this is that I hate monthly subscriptions and would rather pay for a year up front even if it is at the same cost.

  30. I cant believe how shiesty Pandora has become! I think its extremely sketchy how Pandora is now forcing you to do a month to month just so they can keep your card on file, thats messed up! Between that, the price hike, not being able to choose my music (unlike other music services) and having them limit my skips even after I pay for their service…. they’ve lost yet another customer

    • I’ve been a customer since 2009 and will not be renewing my subscription that just lapsed this month. I liked my annual subscription that was stress free and no hassle, like nice background music. I’m hoping this is like when Netflix messed up their business model and lost so much loyalty they had to backtrack. I’m waiting for the fix…

  31. The increase isn’t that big a deal, but lack of an annual option is. I don’t like trivial recurring bills–it clutters up my personal accounting and makes it more difficult to spot things that shouldn’t be going on whether Pandora or someone else.

    I don’t demand a discount for annual service, the only thing I would expect is that my rate is locked for the time I’ve pre-paid. Since payment processing must cost more for monthly payments than annual, the refusal to offer an annual option must have some motive that benefits Pandora, likely at my expense.

  32. i am already not happy that my subscription went from $36 to $48 per year based on new monthly fee, but if they bump me up to $4.99 i will be leaving.

  33. I have been a One Subscriber for a couple years. Currently I have two subscriptions between myself and my wife. Paid $36 each for the year. Was nice to only have one payment and not worry about it for a year. Now I am changing things. Even with the $3.99 “Discount Offer” I’m not going to pay $100 a year for to two of us to have this anymore. Its not just about the money, its about the fact that we would be forced to Pay monthly, have limited amount of skipping the crappy songs we hear over and over when there are other services out there. More money should bring more options. I have iTunes and amazon so there’s 2 other music services that I can use. I like Pandora, listen to it all day at work sometimes. Sometimes I wont use it for weeks at a time. The Yearly payment balanced it out for me, was easy and I didn’t have to keep track of another monthly payment.

  34. Pandora’s ads are obnoxious, seemingly tailor-made to be as disruptive as possible to the listening experience. Guess what? Pandora (like most media companies) is owned and managed by moneymen who don’t care one whit about music. I was actually going to pay up for their premium service but now they raised the price and eliminated the annual-pay option. I believe Pandora hates music and music listeners.

  35. I too will just be listening for free with ads. I missed the 3.99 rate. I was never notified of my renewal date and don’t think it’s worth $5/month.

  36. Quickly, just one more longtime Pandora One subscriber with exactly the same response. I don’t mind that Pandora has had to increase the price. I do mind that Pandora has taken away the annual subscription option and they are about to lose me as a subscriber because of it.

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