Pandora Restrict Mobile Streaming

You'll have to pay if you want to hear more than 40 hours of free music per month on your mobile, according to a new policy to be introduced this week.

Ultimate Guitar

Pandora will place a 40 hour listening cap on its free mobile music streaming service this week.

Pandora users who reach the new limit on their mobiles can pay 99 cents to lift the cap for the rest of the month, or subscribe to Pandora One for $36 per year for unlimited streaming with no adverts.

Those who will be affected by the changes are in the minority. according to Pandora founder Tim Westergren who made the changes because their streaming royalty rates are increasing.

"The average listener spends approximately 20 hours listening to Pandora across all devices in any given month," said Westergren on the Pandora blog.

"Pandora's per-track royalty rates have increased more than 25% over the last 3 years, including 9% in 2013 alone and are scheduled to increase an additional 16% over the next two years. After a close look at our overall listening, a 40-hour-per-month mobile listening limit allows us to manage these escalating costs with minimal listener disruption."

Pandora has been lobbying Congress to reduce the royalty rates it has to pay to artists. Meanwhile, artists are angry that they may receive even less income from streaming, and many feel the current rates are already too low.

In December, five of the world's leading songwriters led a protest on Capitol Hill to demand a fairer share of Pandora's profits, but the streaming company argues that it can't sustain itself at the current rates.

52 comments sorted by best / new / date

    "Pandora has been lobbying Congress to reduce the royalty rates it has to pay to artists." What a slap in the face.
    Running a business off of other people's work: "Let's pay them even less!" Well that's corporate America for you.
    Good grief, not the greedy, evil corporate America nonsense again. I wonder how many of your favorite bands you'd never have known about without corporate America?
    No one is saying that the idea of a functioning music industry is a bad thing. It's just when companies take advantage of artists by taking a ridiculous share of the profits. But it sounds as if you assume there isn't a problem in the music industry.
    I disagree. Pandora's primary function is one time streaming. In order to buy and own the song you hear, you have buy it on itunes (which Pandora gives you a link to) which goes into musicians royalties. I agree that pandora should have to pay them some royalties, but not a whole lot since it's rare to hear the same song more than once on a station. Now if it this was something like Spotify where you can stream a song as much as you want, I could see it. But with Pandora it's understandable why they'd want to pay less royalties.
    What he said. If anything, artists stand a really good chance of finding new audiences through Pandora's listener base. It's advertising for them, in a sense. I've discovered a ton of new music on Pandora over the years. Bands that I have spent money to see live, bought CDs and swag from, and so on. Bands that have made money off of me, because I heard of them on Pandora... I think Pandora should only have to pay if I specifically type in the name of an artist. If my station brings me something at random based on my preferences, then I'm being advertised to by a new band, through Pandora's service.
    You don't own music you buy from Itunes, you rent it. Bruce springsteen or someone of the sort is having a huge battle with Itunes over their user agreement. In all honestly you don't own music unless you buy the physical album
    But if Pandora can get the price reduced that they have to pay per track, then in theory, they can reduce their price of the subscription to a point where many more people would be likely to subscribe. If they can't get it reduced then Pandora might have to charge more and that could cause less people to subscribe and then putting them out of business and then there would be one less streaming service out there. There's always two sides to every coin.
    Or you could get Spotify.
    Apparently the rates Spotify pays out aren't the best either. Streaming in general is great (I just started using Spotify last month), but not everybody's on board with it, and with good reason. If Pandora's worried about how sustainable a business model it is, then physical media probably isn't going away soon.
    so instead of paying .10 pennies per song, theyre gonna pay slightly higher than a 10th of a penny. any progress is better than none i guess.
    Hence why whenever someone tells me "Don't bother downloading/buying albums, just stream it!" I tell them to "Go **** [themselves]"
    Streaming is downloading. You're using the same bandwith to stream as you would to download. You're just downloading to the cache and you don't get to keep the copy so on top of subscription fee's, the internet bill and possible data overages you get yourself a nice heap of nothing.
    I can't imagine these streaming services are hurting anyone to be honest. Artists were only seeing pennies per CD sold to begin with. I am more likely to check out a band because I can listen to their entire catalog for almost nothing. Because of this I have gone to shows I would have never considered going to, because I would have never given them a shot. So they are making more money off of the ticket sales and merch than they would have previously. I pay $10 a month for Spotify and have discovered so much music, where as in the past I would on average spend about $60-$80 on maybe 4 CD's. And that's $50+ I have to save towards paying ridiculous ticket prices now a days.
    Only 40 hours a month? That's nothing, I'd imagine a lot of people listen to that much in a week. I don't think I'll ever waste my time with spotify, pandora, etc.
    Carl Hungus
    I listen to quite a bit of music, but eight to ten hours a day, forty hours a week? Only children have that much free time.
    A lot of people listen to music at home, work, in the car, etc., and that would be 7-8 hours a day, not 8-10.
    Why in the world do people still use this piece of junk? I'm a huge Grooveshark fan, and even though I don't have one every one says Spotify is amazing. There's much better streaming options.
    Obama's sequester does it again.
    Obama killed my dog! With secret government cancer drones!
    Because of Pandora I buy songs and albums from artists that I have never heard... They should be thanking them for the exposure.
    I'm having trouble understanding what the issue is. If you use a service so much, why would you cry about a $36 per year subscription?
    I honestly don't see the problem. They're struggling with business and need to find a way to make more money to keep afloat. 40 hours a week is a lot and it's not like it's your only source of music. Most people use MP3 players or can even use other streaming services. I don't exclusively stick to spotify, I listen to my own library of music as well. Switch it up and you won't have to worry about breakiing the 40 hour cap.
    fun fact: no one on ultimate guitar understands music business or copyright law, on BOTH sides of the arguement.
    "but the streaming company argues that it can't sustain itself at the current rates." Good, here's to hoping they go under and there is one less 'legal' crook out there.
    For a moment I thought it read: ''Pantera Restrict Mobile Streaming''. Ashiet...
    I just got an E-mail from Pandora today that claims I listen to more than 40 hours of pandora per month. Yeah, that's about right, but it's about 40 hours a week. Guess I'm upgrading.
    I can't stand their mobile streaming regardless, they constantly skip half way through my songs to play more ads.
    all their reviews on Glassdoor are from salespeople/businessmen who have less than positive things to say about their management/long term planning...
    my best friend's step-sister makes $65/hour on the computer. She has been laid off for seven months but last month her paycheck was $13916 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site