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Pandora to Limit Free Streaming on Mobile Devices

March 1, 2013  |  3:00pm
Pandora to Limit Free Streaming on Mobile Devices

Due to the rising costs of licensing musical content, Pandora listeners will now be limited to 40 hours of free mobile radio streaming each month.

Through The Music Genome Project, Pandora utilizes a complicated algorithm to create streaming radio playlists of tracks sharing distinct musical characteristics. Founder Tim Westergren recently announced this information on the Pandora blog and explained that the new limitation is expected to affect less than 4 percent of users. The average customer, Westergren said, spends approximately 20 hours listening to Pandora per month. The New York Times reports that over 75 percent of Pandora streaming occurs exclusively on mobile devices.

The blog also informs that users will be notified if they get close to 40 hours of free streaming each month. The decision to enforce this listening limit compensates for the music industry’s increasing rates to stream music.

“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,” Westergren stated. “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.”

If you do reach the 40-hour mark, Pandora provides these three options: listen to the online-streaming site on computers for as long as you like, pay a small fee of $0.99 for unlimited mobile listening for the remainder of the month, or subscribe to Pandora One for unlimited music on all devices with zero advertising for $36 per year.

Read the full blog post from Tim Westergren here for more information.

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