Pandora limits mobile usage
Pandora said mobile users will be limited to 40 hours per month on a free account
If you're a big user of the Pandora apps, you may have to start limiting how much you use the music-streaming service on the go because Pandora will be limiting those on free accounts to 40 hours per month.
Pandora said that this move should impact less than four percent of its total monthly active listeners, as its average user listens to about 20 hours per month. The company said that it had to do this in order to better contain costs.
"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," Pandora wrote. "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 will give mobile users options though, such as if you surpass that limit on the go, you can pay 99 cents for unlimited access through the rest of the month. You can also just listen on a laptop or computer for unlimited free access. Additionally, you can be a paying subscriber to Pandora and that costs about $40 a year or you can pay per month.
The move comes as Pandora may be facing some stiff competition. It already has to fend off the likes of Spotify and Slacker Radio but it may also see streaming services come from Google and Apple. I still think Pandora has the edge with its music-discovery features, but we'll see if that's enough.