Music | Web Update

Pandora sets monthly mobile listening limit

Published: April 2, 2013, 11:09 pm ET
Collegian Reporter

Pandora radio will be limiting free mobile listening to 40 hours per month to help balance the increasing royalty costs of music.

The personalized radio application has been facing rising royalty rates over the last three years, co-founder Tim Westergren said in an email to Pandora users, and these rates are scheduled to increase up to 16 percent in the next two years. The easiest way to compensate for the cost with the least amount of disruption to users is to put a cap on mobile listening, he said.

Many Richmond students use Pandora on a daily basis to listen to music while studying, relaxing or walking to class. Junior Alyson Fraser listens mainly on her laptop and wasn’t concerned with the new limit on mobile listening. As a long-time user, she remembers when listening from a computer had a 40 hour cap as well, she said.

This limit was removed in 2011, but it was never really a big deal for Fraser. If she hit the limit, she would find other ways of listening to music, she said, such as YouTube.

If students do reach the cap while listening on mobile devices, Pandora suggests switching to a computer to continue listening, or paying $0.99 for unlimited listening for the rest of that month. Students could also consider a paid subscription for unlimited listening, commercial-free.

Contact reporter Mia Webber at

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