Pandora has detailed some upcoming changes in terms of One subscription pricing. In a bit of news that few like to hear, it seems the rates will soon be going up for new subscribers. Pandora has also said they will be allowing current (active) subscribers to remain at the same rate, and that they will be ending the annual subscription option.
In simple form — Pandora One is currently set at $3.99 per month. That price will increase by $1.00, and go to $4.99 beginning in May. Again, this is for new subscribers only. As for the annual subscribers, they will (provided they remain active) be migrated to a “discounted loyalty price” of $3.99 per month.
That new loyalty pricing will take effect at the next renewal period. Further details here mention how annual subscribers who are coming up on their renewal date will be notified by email. Otherwise, along with news of the price increase, Pandora did also touch on how they are doing this “so that loyal listeners can continue to enjoy a premium, ad-free Pandora experience.”
There was also mention about how they have been “fortunate” to keep Pandora One subscription pricing at $36 per year — since it originally arrived back in 2009. That $3.99 per month price has also remained the same since it was introduced. The reason behind the price increase seems to have come down to royalty fees.
It was said the royalty rates Pandora pays (via SoundExchange) have increased 53 percent in the last five years. That fee is also expected to increase another 9 percent in 2015. All that having been said, Pandora closed with how the listeners remain their top priority and this price change will affect roughly 3.3 million subscribers (out of more than 250 million registered users).