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/

861 thoughts on “Pandora One Subscription Changes

  1. I found out today when I saw a charge on paypal for $3.99 plus tax for Pandora, I thought someone had hacked my paypal account since I have never authorized a payment to Pandora, I have my yearly subscription for that, so I went into paypal to dispute the charge, after I did that I started searching the net and found out that what is going on…well, shame, after many years of paying the yearly plan I retire from Pandora, and I would have paid $48 $50 or $60 a year , but will not do monthly payments and do not appreciate a charge that I did not authorize.

      • Hey Scamdora…You guys better figure yourselves out or lose all your customers. I hadn’t used your service for a week or so but, today I pulled it up to enjoy it and every song is followed by a commercial and the ads are flashing and taking up more of the screen than the song info. That’s ridiculous. I thought about upgrading then dropped the idea a hot minute after reading everyone’s posts. Guess I’ll check out another service

      • Thanks for the link to file a complaint. Early on I signed up for Pandora One only as a way to support Pandora. I don’t so much mind the price hike, but now I have to reconcile twelve transactions a year instead of one.

        I will be looking at alternatives.

    • I have been a loyal Pandora One subscriber for many years and am saddened by this new change. I would have been happy to pay an increased yearly price, but was not even given the option. Pandora if you think you can trick your subscribers into buying a monthly plan but nearly doubling the yearly price, you are sadly mistaken. I understand the marketing technique…some people see the $4.99/month and do not think of the yearly cost. $4.99/month is still reasonable. $60/year is still reasonable. Maybe you were afraid $60/year would scare people away. From reading all of the comments listed above it looks like you’ve managed to do that anyway by taking away their options. I will not be continuing my subscription with Pandora.

      • Look guys everything must evolve(change) or die wtf, if u cant do the same what must youre future hold? DONT BLAME PANDORA BLAME THE GREEDY ASS ARTISTS YOU SO LOVE, if you read the blog you would understand! Did you freak when gas prices rose I know I did, but I didn’t burn my car manufacturer down I got pissed and blogged about a greedy government you mustn’t shoot the messenger!

  2. Finally got around to sign up for a Pandora and the annual subscription option gone… And so am i…

    Please let me know when you come to your senses.

    • Like I said before you mustn’t shoot the messenger everything changes it is one dollar its worth it to me to have anything I wanna hear when I want it and if you read the blog after a few months those new subscribers will migrate to 3.99 blame the artists you love listening to the royalty fees went up so Pandora has to pay the artists more it costs money to run this site how long did you enjoy it for free? I know it was nearly a yr before decided to subscribe, so I felt as if I owed it:)How bout you?

  3. I am also not a fan of the yearly option now gone. now i don’t really want to pay where as before i did not mind. another one lost i guess

    • That makes absolutely no sense, if you have pay pal or auto draft it doesn’t effect in any way its just a payment mod as I said before adapt or die out that’s what life’s about. The artists want more money that’s what royalties are the payment for usage of their music in anything anywhere. Since the internet no ones really buying cd’s or stuff like that you can share for free, download for free, if you know where and how, so the artists aren’t making the money they had previously. Again don’t shoot the messenger.

  4. Pretty upsetting to find that the $36/year plan I’ve had for… years is gone. Yeah, it’s only another $12/year to do $3.99/month, but it sucks to have had something for so long and see it disappear. Unlike the others, though, I’m staying because I like the product. Just wish you’d have found another way.

    • Yessss I agree the inflation in this country can be ridiculous just as they screwed us on gas, it feels as if the artists are doing the same, but Its because they have to the internet has ruined quite a few things, their music that costs money to create and bring (by the way google what an hr of air time is in a studio , better yet google exactly what it costs to cut a record start to finish and bring to us) is being illegally downloaded for free all over the world it isn’t Pandora it is the artists if you read the blog a whopping 53% rise in royalty fees!

      • You keep saying read the blog, how about you read the comments, people really are not complaining too much about a price increase. Its not having the annual billing option, so quit playing devils advocate and read ffs.

  5. The same thing just happened to me. I logged in and found out that my yearly subscription was up for renewal and that they want me to pay monthly. I pay enough things every month I dont need to worry about paying another thing monthly either. I guess I will either have to deal with the commercials or find another site. Such a shame I’ve been using Pandora for years.

    • Everything changes if there was site you could goto and download all you’re music for nothing legally would you do that? Of course you would and there are sites people are taking music for granted, what happens when finally our artists can no longer afford to produce music for us, if you read the blog the royalty fees went up a whopping 53% what can Pandora do? It costs to run the website also, so it’s one dollar and youre credit card billed automatically every month where’s the worry coming from I just don’t understand.

  6. I used to pay a yearly subscription of $36.00, my renewal date just came and now I have to pay $30 for six months, which will be $60.00 year, sorry Pandora, I will be leaving! I love the ad free music the huge hike in price something I don’t understand when I am getting the exact same service.

      • It is you that needs to read the blog post again.

        *Monthly* Pandora One subscribers will not see a price change (“at this time”). They were paying $3.99/month (I believe), so “at this time” they won’t see a price difference.

        *Yearly* Pandora One subscribers were paying $36/year. They will now pay $3.99/month (effectively $47.88/year). That is a 33% increase as well as 12 transactions that have to be processed in some way. While some may not think that is a big deal, the volume of comments to the contrary are evidence otherwise.

  7. Bye Pandora, it’s been good these last few years, but this is crazy. Tell the BOD good luck because this is a decision they will greatly regret. Come September when I my plan expires, I will be looking into your competition regardless of their pricing. You should have let the old subscribers get grand-fathered in, because your subscription numbers are going to tumble. Thanks for the memories.

    • I don’t understand how you got such a message when annual pricing is gone and all the old subscribers are grandfathered in no price change? I also don’t get that you’re leaving to pay whatever the competition wants read you’re blog it sounds idiotic not to be mean or pass judgment just think you freaked and wrote w/o thinking. Everything changes life is adaptation that’s how were highest on the food chain! I know it isn’t easy but its necessary. This change is not for Pandora’s profit but b/c of the 53% increase in royalty fees and if Pandora’s seeing this increase you can bet every other likeness is also.

  8. I’m also unwilling to pay monthly for something I would have happily paid annually for. PLEASE RECONSIDER THE CHANGES

  9. I quit pandora one a bit ago because I could not sign up for a yearly subscription on my phone (what! Why not?) tired of monthly charges. Now no way to sign up yearly. Hmm. Just signed up for a free week. It will be cancelled 100%

  10. Good job Pandora – way to say FU to your core customers. You can absorb the 53% increase last year, but the 9% this year causes a price increase and the elimination of annual subscriptions? No thanks.

    • ACTIVE SUBSCRIBERS WILL NOT SEE A CHANGE, that’s what I read maybe you should consider rereading the blog?

  11. I am not sure what level of customer I am? I have had Pandora for several years now and you just jacked my rate to $4.99. As noted on your policy details current and/or said member will only be charged $3.99. If you have increased my monthly amount to $4.99, you may cancel my subscription as I will no longer need your services.

    *Also, There are other music website that has more consistent monthly charge amounts if any applied to there subscribers.

    Sorry, No more auto pay to Pandora…….

  12. For so many years, we paid Pandora a yearly subscription, this help the to build their infrastructure, now this is the way they paid our loyalty, incrementing the price on a 25%, just like that, and then charge it monthly so they can change the price when ever they like. NOT GOOD, moving to AMAZON or iTunes then.

  13. As beautiful as our marriage has been these last couple of years, I will be getting a divorce from you Pandora. :( breaks my heart you want to switch to this monthly plan and while alot of us dislike this option, you haven’t done anything at all. I just got your email about the month to month

  14. Same here! It is so disappointing. There was no option to renew my existing subscription which is sad since I have been a customer and huge advocate for Pandora for years. There was no communication – absolutely nothing that the service would be changing…just a “renew your credit card.” Not a good business practice especially to loyal customers. Extremely disappointed and looking elsewhere for my need for music.

  15. I really loathe this monthly susbscription plan. I’d be willing to pay a higher price for the annual subscription option back. It’s such a pain to keep up with these monthly microtransactions when balancing the checkbook. I’m afraid I may have to look into other options for my music at work. :/

  16. This sucks another bill every month. So instead of $36 a year it is $47.88. I don’t see why I just can’t pay $48 a year and be done with it.

  17. They don’t give a sh1t apparently….have they made ONE comment about why they’re dropping the yearly, in spite of all of us longtime customers bailing? Must be something to do with selling ad-time or some crap.
    Don’t worry Pandora, e will remember you as the service that USED to be good. Say hi to Myspace as you fall into oblivion
    (as far as me, I’ll remember you as the service that screws over loyal customers…..6 years for nothin. Suck it)

  18. I am mad as hell too just like all of you. Was on $36 yearly and now $3.99… thought I’d maintain my loyalty option before it expired. All went through just fine EXCEPT I ****STILL**** get ads????? WTF???? EVERY time I switch stations or when I open the app??? That’s just not right!!!! WTF PANDORA???

      • I’m just wondering, if anyone is seeing “PANDORASUPPORT”s post as a phishing attempt. Anyone here take the time to read the URL provided, let alone checked the properties of the hyperlink??

  19. Wow. Came here when I was trying find out how to get an annual subscription for Pandora. I’m also bummed that they canceled it for a monthly only option. Guess they won’t be taking my money. Bad move Pandora.

  20. I was actually just thinking that I’m sick of the ads and its time to upgrade to a paid membership, but when I went to sign up for a year, that option is gone now and my only option is monthly for $5.33 per month…which ends up being $64 per year. I will stick to the free account and look for another service that will let me pay annually and less than $64 a year.

  21. This was a terrible decision. Ive paid the $36 for 5 years now. I dont even get offered the $3.99 option for a long term customer. you will loose more paying customers that the price increase will not make up for it. email me when you decide to offer a yearly pay option.

  22. Thanks Pandora! I have enjoyed the years of your four years of paid service. I’m not clear why you have decided to remove the Annual Subscription, but I prefer not to subscribe on a monthly basis. It’s a shame, because I’ve spent years making the best poolside Margaritaville radio station.

    But, don’t worry about me, your changes caused me to evaluate other music streaming services and I found iTunes Radio is so much better. They have over 26 million songs at a quality level of 256Kbps compared to your 1 million at 192Kbps. They only cost me $25 per year when I sign up for iTunes Match.

    So thank you Pandora, your actions pushed me to a better service and I’m actually saving money!

  23. pandora charging $4.99 per months?? its something crazy cause pandora even itsn”t a real radio , and it repea, i meant it deos not has variation of songs why we should pay for 3 or 4 songs in each station

  24. Really disappointed the annual fee is gone, my subscription just expired and I logged on to renew and find this out. Goodbye Pandora, just subscribed to iTunes match and am now listening to iTunes radio

  25. Like so many of your other “faithful” customers, I’m done. I would gladly pay more. But I’m not paying every month. You don’t have the words to explain this change to me. What yall have tried to explain makes no sense…just like the double-talk and lies we get from our government. They have set a bad example that you are following. Thank you for the great years, but I’m done. Bye.

  26. Sorry you had ended the annual subscription. Just lost my business. I will never pay monthly for any radio service. When you start offering an annual subscription again send me an e-mail and I will rejoin until then I will be using the add but (free) service

  27. A RUDE SURPRISE

    I stopped my annual scription 2 yrs ago due to unemployment. I’d belonged since the start, loved the $36 annual plan. Now I have a job again but —POOP — y’all chucked annual for monthly, I WILL NOT DO THAT , just too clunky. $50 or $60 for annual is ok, but monthly shit is too much sugar for a dime

  28. Well i guess im not going to become a pandora one listener. Ive been using pandora for about 3 years now without a subscription so i guess i will stick with the ads. Just sucks because i feel like pandora is just becoming more and more like the actual radio with the amounts of commercials increasing. Still going to be a listener but a disappointed one. But i guess that doesnt matter. Ads probably pay more than i would be

  29. I have auto-pay set up and am current, yet I just started getting ads and prompts to subscribe. I sent an email two days ago- no response yet. What is the deal?

  30. Pandora you are really screwing your loyal yearly customers and say FU to them!
    Consider that you have 250 million registered users and 3.3 million of those are paying customers (or yearly subscribers?). IF you cared about your loyal customers you would increase your AD prices since you have many more customers listening for free. You easily make up the difference from increased AD prices! Since you didn’t choose that option then you blatantly chose to screw your paying customers so goodbye Pandora One.

    If you change and reinstate the yearly $36 option I may reconsider as many others would but only if you do it soon cause you DO have competition now.

    • Finally, someone making sense. I was thinking the same thing. Why hack up the loyal customers prices and not the ads to support your non paying listeners? Going in the wrong direction completely, Pandora. Very disappointing to be losing so many paying customers. Also, why choose a payment option that actually costs more money and time? Baffled.

  31. Like so many others, I have been a LOYAL One subscriber for years and love the service. I am willing to pay more, but I am NOT willing to go monthly. Pandora would save money if it still allowed the annual option at the higher rate because it would be paying less credit card transaction fees overall. This is NOT a good decision for them or for their customers. I can’t understand why they wouldn’t want ALL my money upfront if I am willing to pay it. I don’t mind the price increase, but the lack of payment options seems very poorly analyzed by the accounting people (i.e. more credit card fees!) AND without any input from their customer service teams. Oh, and yes, marketing should have been squawking about this too.

  32. Dear Pandora,
    I will not be renewing my subsciption of over 4 years to Pandora One because you discontinued the annual option. Bring this back and we will talk, otherwise you can find me listening to anything but Pandora.

  33. I agree with most of the other customers in saying a yearly subscription is one of the reasons I loved Pandora. I have a yearly account that is soon to expire but was looking today to activate another account to use. If I can’t get a new yearly account or even renew my existing account and keep it yearly, I will have to say goodbye to Pandora too. I will also have to reconsider my commercial account in my business as well. I don’t want to, but I try to eliminate monthly bills as much as possible. So with me you are losing two personal accounts and one DMX Pandora commercial account. I guess I have to do some searching online to find a replacement. If you guys are thinking of bringing back the yearly plan, please let me know ASAP, as I am the kind of person that once I switch, I very rarely go back.

  34. I’m not going to say anything that hasn’t already been said. In fact, I’m going to say exactly what everyone else has been saying.

    I was a Pandora annual subscriber for five years. I must have been so lulled in to blissful ignorance listening to my commercial-free radio recently that I totally missed word of this price increase. I was not made aware of it until today when I saw that my membership expired. I went to renew and only saw the $4.99 monthly option. That is when I did a bit of research and found this article.

    While first reading it, I was OK with the price increase. Every service eventually has to go up in price. And even though the increase seemed a bit drastic, the “royalties” reason seemed mostly justifiable. I figured if the monthly fee is now $5.00, then the annual would be $48/year. I had myself convinced I was still going to renew. But then I kept reading and saw that there was no longer an annual option and I evidently missed my “loyalty grace period”. From a customer service perspective, there is no justification for this decision.

    It’s not about the money. I can afford $5/month. It’s about the principle. Using this “royalties” reason as an excuse to sneak in the removal of an annual membership is not acceptable.

    I find it ironic that the cell phone industry is doing all they can to get people to sign up for contracts. A selling point for competing companies is to offer a contract-free service. Then there is Pandora where, based on this message board a large portion of their users are clamoring for a contract, yet they took away the contract option. We are essentially begging Pandora to take our year’s worth of money yet they won’t let us. I can convince myself once a year to pay for this service. I just can’t convince myself 12 times a year to pay for it.

    I’m actually considering selling the little portion of Pandora stock I own because of this. Why would I want to be financially invested in a company that makes such poor business decisions?

    Anyway, I think I’ve said enough. Give me the ability to sign up a year at a time again, Pandora, and you’ll get my money back. Until then, it’s free Pandora for me. At least satellite radio still offers discounts to those who sign annual contracts.

  35. The cancellation of the yearly option is a deal breaker for me as well. I understand the market forces are going to force price changes but they’re pulling the yearly and giving a “loyalty” credit for people to smooth the transition for future price changes. I don’t know what segement of their sub base was annuel billing but judging from the comments here it’s going to be a sour point going forward. I used to recommend the yearly as a great value but it looks like that’s over.

  36. Like so many here have stated, Pandora premium is/was one of the greatest music experiences ever. But I personally can’t justify the incredible rate increase, and I never received the mentioned notice; “Beginning this week, annual subscribers approaching their renewal date will be notified …” Seems to me that this will be the death of Pandora premium if the current rate holds (are you listening Pandora?). I don’t trust/ believe in monthly rates. To not offer an annual rate at some sort of discount is a very poorly thought out marketing strategy. Someone should be fired for that. From this appreciative previous premium subscriber, you’re great Pandora, but not so great to support a $60+ fee/year. I wish you all the best.

  37. I guess I missed the notice that I had to respond in order to continue my subscription (of years) at the 3.99 rate. Suddenly my auto draw stopped and I’m getting ads and offers to upgrade at 4.99. My satisfaction went from 9 to 0. Bring back your annual rate please! Not sure if I’ll re-up or not. I’ve been hassling w/this for 3 days.

  38. I had an annual Pandora subscription gifted to me a couple of years ago. It was amazing!
    I thought, you know what, I should stop listening to songs on youtube and go back to pandora.

    Alas! there is no one year subscription option!
    Please let me know if your prices become lower than a Disney World Pass.

  39. I just found out about this, when I fired up Pandora today.

    Despite being on an annual subscription, I was never even offered the $3.99 loyalty subscription. And now I’m in the $4.99 camp, apparently.

    I agree with the others: the distaste of being forced to do a monthly subscription is more unpalatable than the fee raise.

    I would have resigned myself to paying $60.00, but now, I’m just going to go have dinner. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

    • I contacted Pandora Support, submitted the same comment as above.

      I received an email the next day letting me know I could now take advantage of the $3.99 loyalty subscription.

      I’ve taken advantage of it.

      Yesterday, I took a look at iTunes Match, and while the subscription cost is less than Pandora, there’s no Shuffle option, which I make a lot of use of.

      In retrospect, the monthly subscription is the same model as I’m already willingly engaged in with Netflix. So, it’s not like the end of the world.

  40. I’m gone too. Like so many others, I’ve been an annual subscriber for many years and received no email about a $3.99 option. I won’t renew at the $4.99 level.

  41. Like so many here have commented, I will be saying goodbye as well.
    I’ll be looking for something else now.

    I have been a loyal annual subscriber for years at the $36 and didn’t mind paying that. But, now I missed my renewal by a couple weeks and now find out it’s going to be monthly only and at roughly a doubled yearly cost. I don’t think so.
    Not so good luck with that Pandora.

    Do yourselves a favor Pandora and reinstate the $36 annual, and you might, just might get some people back.

  42. Count me in as another person who would MUCH rather pay a yearly price, even if it is a bit higher than it used to be. I just want to deal with it once a year. Yeah yeah, auto-renew, blah blah. Just give us back the yearly subscription price and make it $48, please.

  43. I had pandora one but let the subscription go. Saving money when I lost my job I dropped internet and everything attached. Returning to normal I took the ad based pandora but decided I could do a new annual subscription.

    Pandora, please consider an annual option. I have my earbuds in practically all day and would love to become a loyal subscriber. An annual plan would land my business. Even if it just saved me 50¢ a month I’d feel like you have rewarded me for my commitment.

    I’ll continue with the ad based pandora but if the grass is greener somewhere else I will be giving them my business. Hope you come through for me, because then of come through for you and gladly become a subscriber again.

    Thanks… Please try for all of us… We wouldn’t be here posting comments if we didn’t like pandora one. We are here because we have been supporting you and wish to continue to do so.

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