When it comes to music streaming services, there are more than a few to choose from. You have services like Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, iHeartRadio, iTunes Radio, Beats Music, and more. However if you’re thinking that maybe Pandora might be your service of choice, you might be interested to learn that the company will be increasing the price of its subscription fees and will be doing away with its annual plan as well.
Starting from May, new members will have to fork out $4.99 a month versus $3.99 which is what current subscribers are paying at the moment. Thankfully for current subscribers, the new rates will not affect you guys and you will continue paying $3.99 a month until you decide you are done with the service.
As for the annual rate, Pandora will be doing away with that feature but thankfully will not be migrating users to the new rates. Instead annual subscribers will be getting a “discounted loyalty price” of $3.99, putting them on par with monthly subscribers.
So what’s with the price hike? Well according to Pandora, this is to help cover the cost of delivering the service as well as covering the costs of licensing fees in order to stream the music that they do. “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 percent in the last five years and will increase another 9 percent in 2015. In order to continue to provide an ad-free listening option, we are implementing some changes to the way we price Pandora One.”
Pandora also says that this price hike will in reality only affect a small portion of its users. As is stands about 3.3 million of Pandora’s registered users are paid subscribers, and with 250 million registered users, we guess only a small percentage of those users will be affected. In any case the price hike will be kicking off in May so if you were thinking of subscribing, you should probably do it now.