Pandora To Begin Charging Heavy Users; How Much Will It Cost You?

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If you’re a fan of Pandora’s streaming internet radio service, you can finally breathe easy. The company (along with other internet radio outlets) had the shadow of a royalty increase looming overhead, but it appears that it has hammered out a deal that will keep it afloat. But in the effort to stay alive, Pandora had to make some  sacrifices. And so may you.  In an e-mail to TechCrunch, Pandora CTO Tom Conrad wrote:

While we feel this is a substantive victory, the revised royalties are quite high – still much higher than any other form of radio. As a consequence, we will have to make an adjustment that will affect about 10% of our users who are our heaviest listeners. Specifically, we are going to begin limiting listening to 40 hours per month on the free version of Pandora. In any given month, a listener who hits this limit can then opt for unlimited listening for the remainder of that month for just $0.99. In essence, we’re asking our heaviest users to put a dollar (well, almost a dollar) in the tip jar in any month in which they listen over 40 hours. We hope this is relatively painless and affordable-the same price as a single song download. Alternatively, they can upgrade to “Pandora One”, our premium version which offers unlimited monthly listening in addition to its other benefits.

Pandora appears to walking an extremely tight line between generating revenue and pleasing longtime listeners. We think that charging extremely heavy users a buck  is more than reasonable–in fact, we’re surprised that it isn’t more. Still, there will undoubtedly be some who are upset about the move. What’s you stance on Pandora’s new heavy usage fee?

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  1. Tom in Raleigh Says:

    I know this is an old story, but I just started really getting into Pandora after Rhapsody started losing all their licenses to allow me to listen to good music (Bruce Springsteen). I think Pandora is great, it works really well on my Palm Pre, and I see no reason for satellite radio now. Even if Pandora charged $36 for heavy users, it’s a bargain, and, in fact, I will be upgrading to that level to get rid of the (very unobtrusive) ads, and to support a terrific music service.

  2. Scotty Says:

    royalty increase…………………………… squeezing companies like Pandora that make life a little enjoyable, and so they have to squeeze us. I’m so sick of millionaires and billionaire and trillionaires SQUEEZING every last drop out of us. Now they’re trying to control the internet becoming internet police with SOPA AND PIPA bills. I just tried to simply watch the funny 30 second Will Farrell NBA intro on youtube cause I needed a laugh and it was censored. Rich NFL players crying and wining for more money when they already have more money than God. I’m just a graphic designer and don’t make much money. You know what fuck you Hollywood & fuck you corporate pirates and fuck all you people that make more in 6 months than I do in a lifetime. When the world ends I hope you die screaming.

  3. Hampton Says:

    Pandora is a Wonderful site
    For all their hard work…. if your listing over 40+ hours a month you probably should just quit being a tight wad and upgrade to Pandora ONE !
    This coming from someone who doesnt pay for anything i dont have to…. im very pleased with pandora and Pandora ONE ! Sometimes we need to support companis that are doing a great job IE Pandora ! good job and keep up the great work !
    it amazes me how easily pandora could have just done a number of greedy thigns to compensate for their working cost but they did the responsable thing and still provide free music to everyone and great service to those who pay 3.99 a month :)

  4. Reese Says:

    I think this is stupid!!! Pandora just lost a customer!!! Hello iheart radio!!!

  5. john Says:

    It starts with .99 cents. Then, it will move up to $1.99 and so forth. Next, pandora might start charging for 30 hours. It will never stop. Sorry, no .99 cents from me. Pandora lost another customer.

  6. Pandora lover Says:

    It’s a business. Who ever is against it. Let me ask you something. What do you give out thats free?!!

  7. Johnny Says:

    I have to agree that how it starts 99. Then 2.00 and so forth pandora lost another customer

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