Feb 28th, 2013

Do you listen to Pandora on your Android phones and tablets? If so, this news is rather important to you. Pandora has recently revealed that it would soon begin limiting free, mobile listening to 40 hours per month. Before you start getting that kerosene torch out, founder Tim Westergren wanted to explain why, exactly, Pandora had to make the change.

Tim says per-track royalties have increased 10-fold over the years, with the expenses growing more than 25% over the last three years. A good chunk of that — about 9% — came in 2013, and the royalties are expected to grow 16% over the next couple of years. Most users shouldn’t be affected, apparently, as less than 4% of monthly active Pandora listeners are said to be in the cross-fires of this unfortunate situation.

In fact, Tim says the average listener only listens to about 20 hours of music per month, so a great deal of you probably won’t notice anything at all. The change will help offset the burden of cost put on Pandora’s back by the music companies. That said, if you are in that minority of listeners who will be affected by the change you can do one of four things:

  • Lower your listening rate (desktop listening is still completely unlimited, so try and move your tunes over to a PC whenever possible).
  • Pay $.99 once you hit the limit to get an unlimited allowance until the end of that month.
  • Pay $2.99 per month for Pandora One, which includes commercial-free radio and an unlimited listening rate.
  • If all else fails, bail ship and find a different service.

Those are some inexpensive prices so if you really love Pandora and you really can’t bring yourself under 40 hours per month then it’s a great route to consider. I still personally believe that a Pandora One subscription should free me of the dastard six skips per hour limit, but perhaps that will be addressed another day. Anywho, if none of this is bothering you then continue to rock on.

[via Pandora]

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