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. Barbara Evans
    June 06, 2016 at 10:12pm
    I love Pandora and in fact decided to pay for unlimited data just to be able to receive and enjoy it. All of a sudden as of this weekend, however , most of my favorite stations are now"buffering".. I've given up completely now in trying to listen at all. This buffering excuse is nonsense. What is going on? Btw I play it over my iPhone.
    1. PandoraSupport
      June 09, 2016 at 9:47am
      Hi Barbara - we're sorry for the trouble. Please email our support team directly for help: -Kim
    2. connor
      July 11, 2016 at 7:47am
      check your phones internet speed at that will give you the reason why.
  2. MrC
    June 07, 2016 at 3:45pm
    For all the complainers out there: You could also...just pay the ridiculously low cost of like 5 bucks a month to stream Pandora. Yes, I know. Paying for music you listen to *gasp*. Everything according to you folks should be free, but I'm sure you'll be screaming your anger from the top of the roofs when your boss decides to stop paying you and have you work for free.
  3. Eep²
    June 27, 2016 at 9:54am
    100-channel limit is lame.
  4. Jessi
    July 02, 2016 at 12:56pm
    I listen to Pandora probably 40 hours a week so once a a month I will be able to listen to my music for a week I'm sorry but I listen to music when I'm at work. I barely listen to anything other than Pandora although now I'm probably going to have to find something else because that's ridiculous. If this is only going to affect 4% of your users then what is the point of starting to even charge for it. That means you only get 4% more people theoretically they're going to pay for it. I work in a kind of boring atmosphere and music is my one reprise. To top it off I'm not even getting emails when I am at these opposing 40 hours a month. Right now it just says that all of my stations are unavailable which whether that be because of this or because of some other issue that's going on I'm starting to get dissatisfied with the service I understand having only a certain number of Skips I understand a lot of what you guys are starting to do however cutting back on the amount of time people are allowed to listen to your quote on quote free online radio is ridiculous. Pretty soon it's going to be free as long as you make a donation or hey which is ridiculous and I hate people who create business models that say oh well this is free but you have to read all the fine print that shows that you actually end up having to pay for it. I'm very upset at this point that I'm not able to listen to my music when I want to which is why I originally downloaded Pandora and why my sister listen to Pandora. I have a feeling that the numbers of people that you have downloading Pandora and listening to it are going to start to dwindle if not completely drop off. I understand that you're trying to make money butt why I don't feel that this is the proper way to go about it.
    1. PandoraSupport
      July 02, 2016 at 4:15pm
      Sorry for any confusion, Jessi. This post is from 2013 and we no longer have a monthly listening limit. If you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to our support team: -Katie
  5. Aaron
    July 19, 2016 at 3:14am
    So, why did I get an email about almost being over the monthly limit? It says that this will be the only time I'll get charged, but I'll have to pay 0.99 to get through the rest of the month if I go over.
    1. PandoraSupport
      July 21, 2016 at 7:04am
      Hey Aaron - you may be affected by an issue we're looking into. Please email our support team directly:
  6. Jesse
    August 03, 2016 at 3:11pm
    I have paid for Pandora One for years now i love it i listen probably 60 hours a week while working outside. Recently most songs have become edited with no more explicit content. Why is this? Im thinking of switching to a new music provider if this is the new normal. Some feedback would be appreciated.
    1. PandoraSupport
      August 05, 2016 at 3:32pm
      Our support team can provide you with some feedback on this - email them here: -Katie
  7. Norbert Lorenz
    August 05, 2016 at 9:41pm
    When did Pandora increase the 100 station limit to 250 stations
  8. to who belongs this free number
    September 11, 2016 at 2:35pm
    When I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you can remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!
  9. Faith
    September 16, 2016 at 8:01am
    Love that we can have more than 100 stations, finally! Thank you!
  10. 1011darcy
    September 16, 2016 at 8:01am
    Love that we can have more than 100 stations, finally! Thank you!

Comments are closed.