Mar 19th, 2014

More price hikes are in order, folks. This time, Pandora has announced that they are making the unfortunate decision to increase the price of a monthly Pandora One ad-free radio subscription.

Pandora for Android

The price is 25% higher than before, though considering the subscription was only $3.99, that means you’re only paying $1 more each month. There are a couple of important things to note about the change:

  1. Those currently on the $3.99 per month plan will be locked into the rate until further notice.
  2. New subscribers will see the change to $4.99 per month plan starting in May.
  3. Those on an annual subscription for $36 per year will be automatically converted to a $3.99 per month “loyalty” subscription, as the annual option will no longer be available.

What Pandora doesn’t tell you is that the $3.99 per month option is more expensive than the $36 per year subscription, so keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to keep your subscription. Of course, with any price increase comes the inevitable excuse:

We’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.

And those are simply the breaks of life. Sometimes, things get more expensive, and those costs are passed down to the end-user. Now, it’s just a question of whether Pandora’s service is worth putting up with said costs.

It’s up to you to make that decision, so if you aren’t already a subscriber and you’ve been thinking about becoming one, be sure to download the app in the Google Play Store and see what they have to offer. You won’t be able to secure current pricing if you let May come and go without making a decision.

[via Pandora]

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