The Party is Over: Pandora to Limit Free Mobile Listening

 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

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
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.
Mark Spoonauer on
Twitter Google+
Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

  1. Maurice Says:

    Use groove shark instead!

  2. 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

  3. Marc Allen Johnson Says:

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

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options