I guess it had to happen eventually. After years of providing free streaming music over various platforms, Pandora has announced that it will start charging for the service. But don’t worry, the charge only kicks in after 40 hours of music has been streamed by a subscriber over all mobile devices. That’s not so bad.
After that, it will cost 99 cents for unlimited music for the remainder of the month. Pandora said it will alert users when they get close to the 40 hour mark. The change will affect less than 4% of Pandora subscribers, since, the average Pandora listener uses the app for 20 hours a month on all his or her mobile devices.
Per track royalty rates will rise 9% in 2013 for a total increase of 25% over the last three years. So that is the reason. Plus another 16% increase over the next two years.