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Pandora is about to get a lot more expensive – even for current subscribers

Published Mar 19th, 2014 9:45AM EDT
Pandora Radio Subscription Price

If you are a regular Pandora user toying with the idea of subscribing to the streaming music provider’s paid “Pandora One” service, it’s time to pay up. Pandora on Tuesday evening confirmed that it will soon increase the cost of its subscription service to $4.99 per month. The bump from the current $3.99 rate represents a 25% increase, but there’s good news and bad news: the good news is that current monthly subscribers will be locked in at $3.99. The bad news, however, is that those who pay the discounted annual rate of $36 per year will be forced into a monthly $3.99 plan. This rate will be discounted from the upcoming change in Pandora’s monthly subscription plan, but it will represent a 33% price increase from the current annual rate.

“Over the next couple of months, we will be implementing some changes to our Pandora One subscription plan so that loyal listeners can continue to enjoy a premium, ad-free Pandora experience,” Pandora said in a post on its blog.

The post continued, “We’ve been fortunate to be able to offer Pandora One at an affordable price since its debut in 2009 at $36 per year and later with the introduction of a monthly subscription for only $3.99 per month. Over this same period, the costs of delivering this service have grown considerably. For example, the royalty rates Pandora pays to performers via SoundExchange for subscription listening have increased 53% in the last five years and will increase another 9% in 2015.”

The company went on to say that the aforementioned price increases are necessary in order to keep offering a paid, ad-free listening option.

The new pricing will go into effect for new subscribers beginning in May, and those currently on an annual plan will be transitioned to the $3.99 monthly plan once their next renewal comes around.

There will be no changes for subscribers currently on the $3.99 monthly plan.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.