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

    • Not pleased about this change to monthly, not user friendly and now more expensive now that their profits are way up; harkens back to greedy XM radio…which I gladly abandoned as Pandora was a more egalitarian option with reasonable pricing. Now I await the next “Pandora” I can jump to…XM is still trying to give me months of free listening…be careful, Pandora. You will lose your base if you don’t make it user-friendly and continue to offer annual options for your loyal clients.

    • Yeah, I have been premium for the past few years, and am dropping it too. I just can’t be bothered with another service sipping a little here and there. I prefer the annual, or even a 5 year plan. Pay once, and never worry someone is going to dip into my account then get hacked and give my bank data to a hacker.

  1. A 33% increase in one fell swoop!? And you talk about how it’s really just a small percentage of your overall users? So you’re penalizing the few of us that really support you!? And why no annual subscriptions? Wouldn’t that be to your benefit, to have loyalty and consistency? I really don’t want to have to have a monthly charge on my bill because it’s annoying to keep track of. Furthermore, it looks like you took away the time limit for the free users so you’re asking me to pay more, more often to hear a few less ads? While other companies are rolling out competing services? What’s going on over at Pandora!? I used to love you guys but as of right now, I’m a thanks, but no thanks.

    • Agree 100%… That’s too bad they don’t seem to care about the few. :( I can’t stand monthly recurring charges. Who can? Whatever…moving on. Thanks for the one and only great year Pandora!

  2. I just received my notice of renewal and that I need to pay monthly. I agree with almost all the other comments. I do not want a service that I have to pay a monthly fee, the annual worked just great. There are times I travel and might not use Pandora for a month or more, but it was still ok to have the annual. Sadly, I will also look for another service. I have been a long time loyal Pandora listener and my 11 year old loves it, too. It just doesn’t feel good when 3.3 million subscribers are seen as insignificant in the big Pandora scheme. I can understand a slight increase in costs, but, 33% seems a bit high for loyal customers. I hope Pandora management will reconsider. I just signed up for one month…and it will likely be the last.

  3. I, too, was a loyal but now disappointed annual subscriber. A slight price increase, year-to-year, makes sense. Everything that I read about the decision to drop the annual subscription option and everything I read here from disappointed subscribers agrees with my perspective, I’m going elsewhere for a pre-paid, ad-free listening experience, even if that means limiting my listening to my own CDs.

  4. I do not like the monthly subscription idea I’ve always been a loyal listener and pay the annual subscription and I’m not sure how much longer I’ll stay a customer if this is not change.

  5. “Unfettered Capitalism will lead to the degridation of society” Karl Marx, a Socialist, but insightful just the same. Money is an addiction, the more you have, the more you need. My personal income went up aq whopping 1.5% this year. Corporations, stocks, investments more than 25%. Supermarket prices up 18%, somehow the bean counters say there is no inflation. Pandora is now out of my pocketbook, and will be removed from my device when my suscription runs out.

  6. I have issues with Pandora as it is. Not enough songs and I don’t get it in some areas of travel. it constantly cuts out on me and can’t find a signal. constantly getting error messages.
    I will not be continuing after my subscription goes out. I don’t want to pay a monthly fee. I prefer the annual subscription. :'(

  7. Kinda shooting yourself in the foot here pandora.
    I do not allow companies to auto charge me. I call this pulling and is unacceptable. I do allow pushing in which I send you money. Do to this strick financial rule I have, you will loose my business as a paying user.
    Sad about this. Been listening for years, finally decided I should start paying because I didnt want this crap to happen.
    Back to f-in adds. Thanks for listening to your paying customers!

  8. ive been enjoying a free preview of Pandora One because of Walt Disney World (im guessing its a promo, but it didnt show up on my friends phone). even though their android phone app has been acting up like crazy recently compared to how well its always worked, i was about to purchase pandora one for the $36 yearly fee. I go to find out, there is no more yearly option, and they have raised the monthly from $3.99 to $4.99 beginning in may. I never did this because i thought $50 vs $36 was alot, and now its going to be $60 vs $36….with all the competition thats coming out for radio/music apps, it seems really stupid to do this much of a jump AND get rid of the yearly discount, like maybe offer the yearly to $40 vs $60. I am interested in seeing how this turns out unless of course they just let it go.

    • I really love Pandora One, and have paid for a subscription for 3 years in a row. but the new price hike from $36 to $48/yr has cost my renewal. Too bad Pandora, I love your music and customer service, but that price hike is too much for me! So long old friend. : (

  9. Like most business entities the loyal customers get the shaft. A Year rate for loyal customers to 42 to 45 we would be glad to cover. How hard is that?

  10. Pandora – I am ok with a small price increase, but drop the annual pricing? And I am starting to get alerts that I can’t listen to my paid for Pandora One account on multiple devices at the same time. If you are going to force my family to have separate accounts per person, you should give me the option to pay by the year, instead of nickel and diming me every month. This was always my husband’s father’s day gift, I believe we will be looking elsewhere for our add free music when this goies into effect.

  11. Not at all interested in anything that automatically renews off of my credit card. Not having a one-time option available just reeks of shifty BS. My annual subscription just ended and I won’t be renewing it unless they bring that option back.

  12. Too much….too fast. I have been a loyal yearly sub. for years. This stinks! Yearly subs should be less than mnthly. and certainly not monthly payments. It is no longer worth the money or trouble of supporting. Very disappointed. …..good luck with your new management.

  13. Just got ready to sign back up and OUCH ! The yearly option is gone and now I have to deal with monthly charges. NO I AM NOT STILL LISTENING !

  14. buh bye Pandora . It seems that auto renew turned in to this many year subscriber. not renewing. Alsoo to mention that when you listen to the grateful dead it goes into headbanger meth music.
    Finally, 33% increase?
    Piss up a rope

  15. I’m fine with the relatively modest price increase, but why a company would decide it’s in their interest to make paying for their service more difficult is beyond me. Entering a yearly fee into my checkbook = no big deal. Tracking monthly charges = pain. I used to actually enjoy entering that annual payment, because it reminded me of what a great service Pandora is. Now I will have monthly reminders of how frustrating you’re making it to buy your service. Thanks Pandora, for taking a unique, pleasant, “hands-off” experience and making it annoying. You’ve motivated this long-time subscriber to explore other options, now that you’re exactly the same as everyone else.

  16. NO Yearly Subscription – NO ME…..I loved Pandora but I’ll go see what I-Heart Radio is offering……You got 1 month to fix this

  17. My Pandora One subscription expired today and I’m not renewing because of the lack of a yearly option and the discount. Too bad.

  18. I too was a fan of the annual option. I hate monthly auto pay! Looks like in June when my annual subscription ends so will me being a loyal customer. I hope y’all open your eyes as to what dumb mistake has been made. I can understand a price increase but I will only return for a annual subscription.

  19. So much for renewing my yearly subscription….I do not care to a a monthly billing..Thanks for the ride. I will get off here.

  20. I though I was doing the right thing by paying for the yearly subscription vs listening for free. You must be making more money thru the ads than with us subscribers. I’m going to help you out. I too am going to not renew my yearly subscription. I hope you get rich with the money I’m not paying anymore…

  21. I also enjoyed the annual subscription benefit and related cost savings.
    I hope these changes are not the beginning of the end of Pandora.
    IMHO, the $30 annual rate was worth it, but I’m not sure it is at $60 annually.
    After my subscription expires, I’ll investigate some of the other options

  22. Not much to say here. I’ve been a subscriber for years and will continue to be so. That doesn’t mean I’m happy with this change. 36$ a year I could justify. 4$ a month, a mere $12 increase per year is where it starts to feel more like every other bill I pay. That makes me unhappy. I see constant increases on bills year after year and, guess what, I either cancel that service and go with the competition or I do without.

    Well played making the “loyal” userbase feel just a bit less significant. Nice to know that it’s ok to mess with your users, as long as you’re only messing with a small percentage of your loyal users. Sure makes me feel better….

    Lots of choices out there for streaming music (many which let me create playlists and save music locally…), I use pandora to find new music. There are other ways to do this that don’t require me to pay for a subscription. Don’t get greedy and assume that you won’t continue to bleed customers if you only increase the price every now and then. Even this increase is enough to make me reconsider if my loyalty is still worth what pandora has to offer.

    Cheers.

  23. Why in the world are you insulting the customers that give you a locked in yearly profit? How does that make sense? Doesn’t it make more sense to tell your shareholder that you have XX customers locked in for a year at a time? An increase in the yearly, but with still a discount, would make for happier folks plus they are less likely to start shopping around but maybe once a year. Now, we don’t have to stay loyal since its a monthly payment. I would normally just make the yearly payment, then forget about it. Now it will be an eyesore on my statement monthly so now every month I will be reevaluating if pandora is the best choice.

    This seems like a big mistake.

  24. Well, I hatet to say it, but good by Pandora – no Annual Subscription availability – You wont be getting my business any longer. I switched over to Pandora a few years ago when XM Radio decided to greatly increase their rates – thought Pandora was good alternative then, not so now with twh change to a monthly fee base.
    So Long!

  25. I was never notified of the price increase OR that there was no longer a yearly option. I went to pay for my yearly subscription as I have for years now, and I find that it’s no long an option. How disappointing. I will have to think about this, but I doubt that I will continue my subscription with Pandora if I cannot set it and forget it for a year.

  26. Welp. A major price increase, no annual subscription, no notification of the price increase until my yearly subscription is up and I’m now done with Pandora.

  27. I really hope you reconsider reinstating the annual subscription. I do not want to keep track of yet another monthly charge. I understand the need to raise your prices and do not mind paying a little extra, just bill me once.

  28. Add me to the list of disappointed Pandora users. I’ve done the annual renewal for years but I cannot do a 33% price increase at a monthly rate. It’s great at 192k but when streaming apps are at about 56k it’s a deal breaker. Spotify’s stations pretty much suck but I can stream ANYTHING at high bitrate and download right to my phone.

  29. This is a big increase when you look at it. I have been a Pandora subscriber for a couple of years. For 36-45 I can go along with. I hope they enjoy it as I will no longer be subscribing

  30. Pandora, its bad enough that you haven’t added any significant new function to your product in years (e.g, selecting the Music Genome traits to filter a mix), but cutting off the annual subscription option and any kind of discount for users that are willing to commit is the final straw. Like Facebook, its clear that in your business model, it is not the music that is the commodity and users are the customer, but it is users that are the commodity and advertisers are the customer. If that’s how you run your business, you’ve lost my loyalty as a paying user. But, of course, that’s what you want, since you make more off ad revenue than subscriptions. If I want to listen to ads, I’ll listen to the local radio station streams, at least their ads are relevant.
    Do you want to make your service one I will be loyal to? Offer a paid version that permits unlimited skips and has no ads. Offer annual subscriptions at a discount (any discount), so I feel like I am getting something for committing. Add new features to the product, rather than trying to grow the user base: better product will attract more users.

  31. I will no longer be a paying subscriber, I will continue to use the software for free unless you reinstate a annual subscription option. If the free option becomes unavailable in the future as well I will move to one of the many other music providers. Heck even now I have already started using spotify and I heart radio for my listening pleasure. I think Pandora made a big mistake with this choice and should rethink the yearly subscription option.

  32. Pandora is out of their mind. Imagine getting an overdraft charged from your bank for a $3.99 charge. Seriously, if they don’t decide to offer an annual charge, even if it’s $75, I’m out.
    “Hype Machine” is an awesome, and an even better alternative.

  33. I miss my subscription renewal, could not get in time to update my info and now there is no annual subscription. Wrong move Pandora, you are one of the first and may still be one of the best, but you are taking all the wrong steps on an increasingly competitive market, please don’t, you are upsetting your loyal base. Personally, not interested in a monthly subscription and not thrilled about what you call a “modest price increase”. To me 40% is anything but modest.

  34. I love Pandora. I’m ok paying an increase in the yearly subscription fees. Truly the service is worth twice the price I’m paying for it. But monthly billing? I do NOT like that at all. I strongly suggest you reconsider this Pandora. I want to pay you once and not think about it for a year. I HATE monthly automatic deducts from my bank account. Candidly I am considering not re-uping on my Pandora One membership.

    Price increase? OK. Monthly automatic deducts from my bank account? That may be a deal breaker.

  35. Agree with others. No annual subscription means that I’ll probably cancel when my current year runs out. It’s sad because I really love the service.

  36. This is a horrible decision based only to benefit Pandora. I love my pandora one. But I do not need another monthly bill automatically pulled from my bank account. It will be interesting to see how much money you lose on this decision. You say you don’t take this decision lightly yet with all the comments on this blog there has still yet to be any change. I fully understand the importance of price hikes and am happy to pay them. You should grandfather the people who get yearly subscription service and anyone new who comes along has to get the monthly. Clearly companies don’t care about their customers anymore and only care about the CEO bonus check.

  37. I’m done with Pandora One as well. This means, of course, that I’m reducing my annual subscription payment from $36 to $0. I hope this change doesn’t inconvenience Pandora, but economic realities dictate its necessity.

  38. Pandora, I’ve been using your service for a few years now, and have just ended my second year of subscription service. To many, myself included, an annual subscription, even if it’s the same price, seems easier to swallow than having to see you pulling from my bank account (or, even worse, having to manually pay you) every month. I understand the need to increase prices to keep up with increasing costs. I do think it was a significant jump (25%), but the loss of the annual subscription was too much.

    I did continue my subscription. However, I am out of town and this is one of my main sources of entertainment. This will be my last month doing business with Pandora. I doubt I will consider using the free service anymore, as the quality of the service (paid or not) has been waning.

    Well done alienating your primary source of income. May the purchasers of your ads treat you well.

  39. Pandora One uninstalled from my MacBook Pro and my iPhone this afternoon.

    I hope Pandora is getting enough new customers to replace those of us who are leaving.

    My new streaming radio service? iTunes Radio. Free by the way. I would have happily paid a 100% increase in the annual subscription. But I will not pay a reoccurring monthly fee.

  40. Add me to the list of unhappy formerly loyal subscribers. This amounts to a HUGE increase and an inconvenient intrusion into my bank account. I would be more than willing to pay a reasonable increase in fees via an annual subscription but this is just too much.

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