Pandora Limits Free Mobile Listening

Additional Fees Likely To Push Users Back To Radio

Pandora, the automated music recommendation service and “custodian” of the Music Genome Project  recently introduced a 40 hour monthly listening limit on mobile devices due to financial reasons within the industry. 

For people working 9-5 jobs, this means that the limit could be hit after one week of listening at work! 

Although Pandora claims many users won’t hit the limit, if Pandora is your main source of music, it is likely that you will.  Before Pandora instituted this policy, users could listen to Pandora on any device for as long as they wanted.  Since this is a mobile only limit it will not affect Sonos or computers and other non-mobile ways to use Pandora.  However, many new studies show that audio consumption via mobile phone is growing exponentially with consumers.

If you are unfamiliar with Pandora, the music recommendation service allows users to pick an artist or genre, and Pandora creates a radio-like station based on the user’s selection.   Although the stations have advertisements, users used to be able to listen to their radio-like station for free for an unlimited amount of time. 

While Pandora still offers unlimited listening with the premium Pandora One service for $36 per year, you may still be looking for a free service to stream your music.  Pandora also offers another option.  If and when you reach the 40 hour limit in a given month, pay just $0.99 for unlimited listening for the rest of that month.  This isn’t a subscription.  You can pay by credit card and your card will be charged for just that one month.

What does this change mean?  In all likelihood, it’ll be a boost for traditional radio!  Due to the new 40 hour limit, Pandora lovers may now looking elsewhere to listen to free music as much as they’d like whether consumed over-the-airwaves or via a station’s web stream on a smartphone.