The Party is Over: Pandora to Limit Free Mobile Listening

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 Pandora App for Mobile Devices

Feeling the sting from rising royalty costs, Pandora has decided to limit the amount of time listeners can stream tracks before paying the piper. If you're using the Pandora app on a phone or tablet, you'll hit the wall at the 40-hour mark, at which time you'll be asked to fork over 99 cents for the rest of the month.

Will this move pull the plug on the soundtrack to your life? For the vast majority of Pandora's 65.6 million users, Pandora doesn't believe so. In a company blog post the company claims that the average user listens for 20 hours per month on the go, and that overall this move will impact less than 4 percent customers. Still, that's over 2.5 million people.

The reason Pandora is putting up a paywall now is because the company is being forking over more money for the music it streams to mobile devices. Per-track royalty rates increased 25 percent over the last three years, and they're expected to jump another 16 percent over the next two years. 

Pandora listeners who don't want to put up with ads or worry about hitting that cap could always upgrade to the premium Pandora One service, which costs $3.99 per month for $36 per year. What remains to be seen is if this limit will cause more music lovers to defect to alternatives like Spotify or the newly redesigned Slacker.

via Wall Street Journal

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Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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Add a comment
  • Marc Allen Johnson Says:

    Money is the nature of the beast. The economic model and "free" cannot co-exist for the long term. Sorry.

  • porichkid Says:

    pandora is just a business,its all about money,aint a damn thing funny you got to have a con in this land of milk n honey

  • Maurice Says:

    Use groove shark instead!

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