This week we will begin communicating directly with a small number of our listeners as we introduce a 40-hour-per-month limit on free mobile listening.

Most of you reading this will never hit the limit. In fact, it will affect less than 4% of our total monthly active listeners. For perspective, the average listener spends approximately 20 hours listening to Pandora across all devices in any given month.

That said, limiting listening is a very unusual thing to do, and very contrary to our mission so we wanted to share a quick explanation. Pandora’s per-track royalty rates have increased more than 25% over the last 3 years, including 9% in 2013 alone and are scheduled to increase an additional 16% over the next two years. After a close look at our overall listening, a 40-hour-per-month mobile listening limit allows us to manage these escalating costs with minimal listener disruption.

For listeners who do hit the limit, we have a variety of options available to keep the music you love flowing. Listen for free for as many hours as desired on desktop and laptop computers; pay $0.99 for unlimited listening for the remainder of that month, or subscribe to Pandora One for unlimited listening and no advertising.

In short, this is an effort to balance the reality of increasing royalty costs with our desire to maximize access to free listening on Pandora. We will be sure to alert any of our listeners that start getting close to the 40 hour limit. As always, your feedback is welcome.

Thanks for listening,
Tim (Founder)


  1. Chris
    December 31, 2015 at 9:18am
    4% is probably more like 40% of active listeners because I'm sure they're pooling everyone at anytime that has ever made an account and not specifically active listeners. Oops!
    1. Violet
      March 04, 2016 at 2:42pm
      I agree! I for one have Pandora on from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00++p.m. 5 days per week. If they truly do this plan of reduction on available hours per month. I will be making other arrangements that will probably not include Pandora. I still am having streaming issues, just not to the degree of the 3+ previous weeks. Thank you,
      1. PandoraSupport
        March 10, 2016 at 9:51am
        Hi Violet - very sorry for any trouble you've been experiencing. Our Listener Advocate team would be happy to investigate and look into any problems you are having. Please email them here: -Kim
  2. tomas
    January 17, 2016 at 9:19pm
    Too many ads for me! If I have to pay for my music, I will use my own CDs which are much better sound quality than Pandora. Pandora didn't use to be this way, now you are carpet bombed with ads. BTW, Pandora really don't want you to pay for their music, they make much more money with their ads! Think about it, television makes tons of money from their ads. BTW, the Internet was not created for greedy corporate America! Therefore, don't give me the BS story that you are receiving n number of songs for free! Wake up nothing is for free!
    1. James C
      January 31, 2016 at 4:02pm
      Don't be cheap. If you can afford to buy music CDs, cough up the $4 a month they are asking and enjoy unlimited commercial free music at a much higher bit rate. Advertising isn't as profitable as you might think per ad which is why they run a lot of them on the free accounts.
  3. Christina
    January 27, 2016 at 12:19pm
    I am on my desktop and it is not unlimited - I am getting the message - no music available. so it is across platforms not just mobile. I guess I will find something else. for the next 2 weeks - maybe longer
    1. James C
      January 31, 2016 at 4:05pm
      If it is saying your station has run out of music or add more music to your station, it is a known issue. Closing and restarting Pandora usually fixes this bug. I have a station with thousands of songs and I get this once in a while on my mobile phone.
  4. Jay Sean
    February 05, 2016 at 10:10pm
    Pandora really don't want you to pay for their music, they make much more money with their ads! Think about it, television makes tons of money from their ads. BTW, the Internet was not created for greedy corporate America! Therefore, don't give me the BS story that you are receiving n number of songs for free!
  5. Chris
    February 24, 2016 at 12:10pm
    I have been a Pandora One customer for a few years now. I just renewed for $4.99 a month. I tried to call, but their customer service is email ONLY! This step in "lack" of customer service shows a lack of appreciation for current and potential customers. There are two reasons for this set back for Pandora. Either the company is losing money and is making cutbacks (i.e., customer service, 40 hours listening, repetitive commercials) all due to competition and/or the loss in profit margin is being absorbed and charged back to the customer. Either way, it's poor management. It's a shame, but you've been put on notice Pandora. I'm done!
    1. PandoraSupport
      March 04, 2016 at 2:13pm
      Sorry for any trouble, Chris. Our Listener Advocates would be more than happy to assist you. We don't offer phone support, but you can always email them here: Also, I would like to point out that we no longer have a 40-hour limit on mobile devices. Sorry for any confusion around that. Please feel free to email us with any questions or concerns you may have so they can help and pass on your feedback. We hope you stick with us, Chris. -Katie
  6. Violet
    February 25, 2016 at 8:15am
    I listen to Pandora in my office every day. I have it set very low volume so it plays background music for me. Here is my problem: the past month I loose my streaming CONSTANTLY!! As in sometimes it's after every piece! I have to shut it down and reopen probably 10-15 times per day. Some times it doesn't even want to close properly. Why are there so many streaming issues, as I have been following my practices for 2+ years now. Thank you,
    1. PandoraSupport
      March 02, 2016 at 4:22pm
      Our support team can help - send them an email here:
  7. Trevor
    February 26, 2016 at 9:12am
    "Hurr durr royaltys are expensive guys" I think you make enough dosh on advertising and selling premium memberships to +100 million members. It's time to get rid of the skip limit.
  8. Miranda
    March 04, 2016 at 1:00pm
    Weak. I loved Pandora too.
  9. Concerned Citizen
    March 14, 2016 at 11:57am
    Decided to be done with Pandora after being subjected to an advert after every 2nd song would play. Its not just free anymore, now its annoying as well. Bonus!
    1. Deralg
      March 20, 2016 at 10:49am
      I just make a note of every advertizer, and make sure that I never patronize them and I encourage my friends (Facebook etc.) to do the same.
      1. Violet Althage
        March 25, 2016 at 6:32am
        I don't know what is actually going on with Pandora these past few months, but I am becoming more and more unpleased and stressed with the need for constant "babysitting". I listen to Pandora daily at my office for 8-9 hours, utilizing it for background / white noise, etc. Yesterday for instance by noon (4 hrs. of use) I had to 'close script'; 'reboot' it; whatever 7 times! I won't be able to continue this as it's very frustrating and requires too much attention. I have commented twice previously regarding the problems with streaming and nothing seems to be getting done to relieve or even diminish the problems. Why WOULD I want to pay for Pandora, not knowing that the 'paid' stream is any better than the 'free streaming'? Thank you for recifing this problem with Pandora. Violet
      2. PandoraSupport
        March 31, 2016 at 9:50am
        Sorry for the continued trouble, Violet. Please email our support team so they can help you with these issues: -Katie
  10. Brandon
    March 19, 2016 at 11:07am
    I use a 3rd party software on Linux Mint called Pithos to listen to Pandora, made a ton of skips (skips are unlimited on Pithos) and I blew all of my hours... this sucks.

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