Pandora (And Other Internet Radio) Has Officially Been Saved | TechCrunch www.pandora internet radio

Pandora (And Other Internet Radio) Has Officially Been Saved

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pandoraAfter two years of uncertainty, Pandora’s future has finally been secured.

For those not familiar with what was going on, basically the streaming rates for Internet radio were in danger of being raised to levels that would have made it very hard for companies like Pandora to stay afloat. But a resolution has been reached between webcasters, artists, and record labels, Pandora CTO Tom Conrad tells us.

“Pandora is finally on safe ground with a long-term agreement for survivable royalty rates,” Conrad says.

The key part of the resolution involves SoundExchange agreeing to a 40-50% reduction in the per-song-per-listener rates. In exchange, Pandora is giving up a 25% share of its U.S. revenue. [Update below, if that 25% figure is higher thank the per-song-per-listener number.] This agreement runs through 2015.

But Pandora also had to give up a little more. Because the rates agreed upon are still quite a bit higher than other forms of radio, the service is going to have to put limits in place for users of its free version. Apparently, this will only affect 10% of the user base, as it’s basically just anyone who uses Pandora over 40 hours per month. If a user hits that wall, it will only cost them $0.99 to go unlimited for the remainder of the month. Seems fair.

Users of Pandora One, the pay version of the service, will continue to have unlimited listening.

I asked Conrad if this 25% kickback or new per-stream rate will effect Pandora’s stated goal to be profitable by next year. “It’s a great outcome. Expensive, but I think we can still be profitable next year. These are workable rates,” he says.

Update: Just to clarify one thing, the new deal will see Pandora pay either 25% of its U.S. revenue or the new per-song-per-listener rate, whichever is higher. That’s an important distinction because it likely means Pandora will actually be paying more than the 25% figure. [Thanks to MediaMemo’s Peter Kafka for pointing that out.]

Find the rest of the details in the email below.

Many people played a role in getting here. Pandora listeners provided support in extraordinary numbers in Congress, and a group of reasonable and constructive voices on the label and artist side of the table at SoundExchange helped forge a middle ground that, while perhaps not meeting all of our aspirations, still represents a thoughtful and reasoned outcome under the circumstances.

The deal we’ve crafted is an industry-wide solution for all “pure play” Internet webcasters. The core of the compromise is that SoundExchange has granted a 40-50% reduction in the per-song-per-listener minimum rates in exchange for us giving them a 25% share of our US revenue. The deal extends through 2015 and has special carve outs for the so-called “Small Webcasters.”

While we feel this is a substantive victory, the revised royalties are quite high – still much higher than any other form of radio. As a consequence, we will have to make an adjustment that will affect about 10% of our users who are our heaviest listeners. Specifically, we are going to begin limiting listening to 40 hours per month on the free version of Pandora. In any given month, a listener who hits this limit can then opt for unlimited listening for the remainder of that month for just $0.99. In essence, we’re asking our heaviest users to put a dollar (well, almost a dollar) in the tip jar in any month in which they listen over 40 hours. We hope this is relatively painless and affordable–the same price as a single song download. Alternatively, they can upgrade to
“Pandora One”, our premium version which offers unlimited monthly listening in addition to its other benefits.

Q2 was our best quarter to date and dramatically exceeded our plan both in terms of user growth and revenue. Mobile adoption continues to be very strong with uptake on the BlackBerry looking like it will meet or exceed iPhone levels. Still, the unresolved licensing issues have hung over us like a dark cloud for two years. It’s a great feeling to have the road cleared of that obstacle.

CrunchBase Information
Pandora

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Pandora Internet Radio Reviews

Other Music Services:
  • Average: 4.4
  • High: 5.0
Type:
Entertainment Software
Write a Review
Pandora Internet Radio

Read 41 Reviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Pandora Internet Radio
 
4.6

(based on 41 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (28)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to install (3)
  • Easy to navigate (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses
    • Primary use:
    • Personal (3)
    • Computer Platform:
    • Other (3)
    • Affiliation:
    • I received a sample (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Endless Possibilities

I have been using Pandora for over 13 years, if that doesn't say loyalty I don't know what else does. Pandora is a free/paid internet streaming music app/website. It's is available...Read complete review

I have been using Pandora for over 13 years, if that doesn't say loyalty I don't know what else does. Pandora is a free/paid internet streaming music app/website. It's is available on every device you can imagine. You can have the free subscription or you can pay a monthly subscription for offline features and unlimited skips, I think if you pay for it there's no advertising. So here are my pros about Pandora.
A huge plus for me is you can get it on any device. I can be at my laptop, in my car from my phone, on my Roku, and on my IPad streaming my favorite stations. I think that is amazing. I love being able to take my music anywhere I go. I typically stream Pandora on my cell phone while I am driving down the road from my cell phone. My car has Bluetooth so I connect my car to my phone and enjoy my favorite tunes! I have Sirius radio in my car, I just don't use it, Pandora has taken it's place.
A few things to keep in mind. If you have the free subscription like I do then yes after so long you'll have to listen to a 30 second video of a ad. Personally it doesn't bother me at all. That ad saves me so much money compared to what Sirius wants monthly for supposed "ad free" radio. And you can only skip so many songs for every hour because of a free subscription, not a problem for me because I just change my station.
You can create your own stations and personalize it to you!!! As a song plays if you like it hit the thumbs up and if you don't like the song hit the thumbs down button. Pandora will then personalize and play songs that you might like. It makes your experience just for you.
So yes Pandora is worth it, even the free version is worth your time. It's better than sitting in your car for 30 minutes waiting for a radio host to shut up and play a song that the general population wants to hear instead of what you want to hear. So join today and check it out for yourself. There's no doubt in my mind you'll love it.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Internet Radio that allows you to listen to music for free.

I really like the idea of Pandora and I enjoy using it. I like how you can type in an artist and it will give you a random mix of that genre of music. ...Read complete review

I really like the idea of Pandora and I enjoy using it. I like how you can type in an artist and it will give you a random mix of that genre of music. I also like how it will give you a thumbs up or thumbs down if you do or don't like the song, so it customizes to what you want to hear once you pick your artist or style of music. However, there are some major draw backs to Pandora and this is why I gave it a 3 instead of a 4 or 5. They have entirely too many commercials or ads in between songs. When you skip some songs an ad will automatically come up and if you don't skip any it takes about 4-5 songs to have one come up on its on. I understand that this application is free and that's how they pay for the service, however it has gotten worse. I sometimes will not use the application just because of that. You can't click off of the ad and you have to listen to it entirely. They have a Pandora upgrade option which you can pay for to not be bothered by the ads. I looked into getting it, however I will not pay a fee per month to do this. I think it just used to be a one time fee for the year, but now they changed it to a fee every month. It's just money wasted in my opinion. I still use Pandora, but not as much as I used to. I also will never pay them monthly to use their service without ads- I will just find something else.

Reviewed by 41 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

I love Pandora

By 

from Ohio

About Me Value Oriented

See all my reviews

Pros

  • Easy To Install
  • Easy To Navigate

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Home Use
    • Multimedia

    Comments about Pandora Internet Radio:

    I love Pandora! I downloaded the app onto my phone and I listen to it everyday during my workout routine. The best thing about using Pandora Internet Radio is that it's commercial free! I hate listening to commercial ads. Every time a radio station switches to a commercial break, I switch to a different station. When I work out I like to listen continuously to music, because by listening to the music it keeps my mind off of my workout and by me not concentrating on the workout my exercise time seems to go by faster. Other reasons I love Pandora radio is that you can download songs to your phone with just a push of a button and you can skip to another song if you didn't want to listen to that particular song that was playing. Another reason I love Pandora Radio is that you can give a thumbs up or a thumbs down on a song and it will play songs that are like the song you liked and it will keep away from songs that were like the song you gave a thumbs down to. If you hate listening to radio commercial ads like I do, than Pandora Internet Radio is right for you.

    • Primary use:
    • Personal
    • Computer Platform:
    • Other
     
    5.0

    Endless Possibilities

    By 

    from tx

    About Me Value Oriented

    See all my reviews

    Pros

    • Easy To Install
    • Easy To Navigate
    • Fast
    • Great Value

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Multimedia

      Comments about Pandora Internet Radio:

      I have been using Pandora for over 13 years, if that doesn't say loyalty I don't know what else does. Pandora is a free/paid internet streaming music app/website. It's is available on every device you can imagine. You can have the free subscription or you can pay a monthly subscription for offline features and unlimited skips, I think if you pay for it there's no advertising. So here are my pros about Pandora.
      A huge plus for me is you can get it on any device. I can be at my laptop, in my car from my phone, on my Roku, and on my IPad streaming my favorite stations. I think that is amazing. I love being able to take my music anywhere I go. I typically stream Pandora on my cell phone while I am driving down the road from my cell phone. My car has Bluetooth so I connect my car to my phone and enjoy my favorite tunes! I have Sirius radio in my car, I just don't use it, Pandora has taken it's place.
      A few things to keep in mind. If you have the free subscription like I do then yes after so long you'll have to listen to a 30 second video of a ad. Personally it doesn't bother me at all. That ad saves me so much money compared to what Sirius wants monthly for supposed "ad free" radio. And you can only skip so many songs for every hour because of a free subscription, not a problem for me because I just change my station.
      You can create your own stations and personalize it to you!!! As a song plays if you like it hit the thumbs up and if you don't like the song hit the thumbs down button. Pandora will then personalize and play songs that you might like. It makes your experience just for you.
      So yes Pandora is worth it, even the free version is worth your time. It's better than sitting in your car for 30 minutes waiting for a radio host to shut up and play a song that the general population wants to hear instead of what you want to hear. So join today and check it out for yourself. There's no doubt in my mind you'll love it.

      • Primary use:
      • Personal
      • Computer Platform:
      • Other
       
      5.0

      Great music steaming.

      By 

      from Florida

      About Me Quality Oriented

      See all my reviews

      Pros

      • Easy To Install
      • Easy To Navigate
      • Fast
      • Great Value
      • Powerful

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Business
        • Home Use

        Comments about Pandora Internet Radio:

        I have the Pandora service both on my computer and on my Android cell phone. I have used Tue service for two plus years and have had very few problems with it overall.

        I am a free member which means that I have a limit to how many songs I can skip in a certain amount of time, but other than that there are no complaints from me about the free service.

        I have several different stations set up on my Pandora account and the app and the website are both set up so that adding stations or switching from one station to the other is done easily.

        I love that you can search songs, artists or even genres to help you discover new songs or artists. It makes finding new music a lot of fun.

        The app of course works best on WiFi , but I have used it on several occasions using my cellular data and it was a little slower but still played the music.

        Overall personally I don't have any reason to upgrade to the paid subscription, the free one fits my needs perfectly fine currently. So if you are new to the Pandora world I recommend starting with the free subscription and then if you find you need the paid version switching.

        • Primary use:
        • Personal
        • Computer Platform:
        • Other
         
        4.0

        Pandora Internet Radio - music to my ears

        By 

        from Downers Grove, IL

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Pandora Internet Radio:

        Pandora is my go to music listening app. For those unfamiliar, you type in a artist or band or genre and Pandora will create a music station based off of that. They offer a free version that is ad-supported and a premium version Pandora One that removes the ads. I use the free version and primarily on my iPhone 6. You will get pop-up ads on the screen as well as audio ads every so often. I would say a 15 to 30 second ad for every 3-5 songs played. It's still much better than commercials on the radio. When a song is playing, you have a choice to thumb up or thumb down the song. If you do so, Pandora will adjust the algorithm for the created station to cater to your preferences. You can also choose to skip the currently played song and move on to the next one. However, you're supplied a limited amount of skips. I'll say it's around 5-10. Once you exhaust your skips, you'll need to wait for them to refresh (at least an hour I'd say). Within Pandora One, you are given more skips. Audio quality is great and sound identical to CD quality. I usually don't encounter any buffering issues either whether on WiFi, 3G, or LTE. One knock regarding the app is that it does not support landscape mode. This is pretty annoying when I have my phone attached to the car mount. Overall, though, I'd highly recommend Pandora. It's a free way to listen to music to your heart's content.

         
        4.0

        Major Price Increase

        By 

        from USA

        Comments about Pandora Internet Radio:

        Have been listening to Pandora via a paid annual subscription that Pandora has now removed. They only offer the monthly billing. Plus the price went up 33% annually; not happy about that part. I could understand a 10-15% increase, but 33%? That is a steep increase which is why I have not rated Pandora any higher than a 7.

         
        4.0

        Fun Discovery Streaming

        By 

        from Hartford, CT

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Pandora Internet Radio:

        Pandora was the first free music streaming program I tried, and I still use it a lot. I have it downloaded on both my phone and my computer.

        I like putting in an artist, and seeing what Pandora comes up with is similar in style. You can approve or disapprove (thumbs up/down buttons) each song, but I tend to just only thumbs down the artists or songs I dislike. You can save your 'station', and add like artists once you find that someone else has a lot of stuff you like similar to the artists you started out wanting to hear. I have discovered a lot of new music and artists with Pandora, and been reminded of a lot of music I had practically forgotten!

        There's isn't a lot of control on this program. You can select an artist, but you won't hear them more than once every 20 minutes or so as they shuffle through like artists/music. If you like the randomness of wondering what song is next (which I often do) this is a great program.

        You can pause the songs, but not the commercial. Commercials come every few songs, and occasionally you have to hit 'I'm still listening' if you haven't made any other efforts (thumbs up/down, pause, etc) for awhile. I use the free version but you can pay an upgrade fee to get no commercials.

         
        5.0

        Knows how to select the perfect songs ...

        By 

        from USA

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Pandora Internet Radio:

        Pandora does exactly as it is supposed to. You get to listen to uninterrupted music (as long as you pay for it, otherwise you get to listen to select commercials). You choose a "station" based on a group or song and genre and the magic happens from there playing songs you love, haven't heard in awhile or never heard before and wonder why not?!

        The radio station works great since it is a free Internet radio and or a free cell phone ap from your ap store. I love to use it while running a multitude of races and changing up my station always gives me the energy to push through. The station always comes across clear and rarely loses signal. If it does lose signal it's generally my cell phone and not Pandora that's the problem. You may choose to skip certain songs just because of give each song a designated thumbs or or thumbs down. You are only allowed 3 thumbs downs per listening period if you don't pay for the premium version.

         
        5.0

        I don't listen to anything besides Pandora.

        By 

        from Stroudsburg, PA

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Pandora Internet Radio:

        I honestly don't even bother buying music anymore since I started using Pandora. I use Pandora everyday, and couldn't live without it. I like that I can create my own custom playlists, and add all the different artists and bands I like to listen to on my Pandora. By logging on it saves all of the artists I like, so I can just click on them whenever I want to listen to them. I like when I'm in the mood I can just click on the specific artist I want to listen to, and Pandora will play all their hottest songs, and play other songs from other artists that are similar to them. I mostly like to listen to Today's Hits, because it plays all the same songs that are on the radio, without having to listen to the radio dj's talking all day. I can just skip that and listen to the same music on the radio on Pandora. I also like Pandora though because it recommends me other artists, and song I might like that I probably haven't heard of yet. Which is great because I always like to listen to new artists.

        I mostly use Pandora when I am at the gym and running on the treadmill, but I also like to use Pandora when I am in my car, as well as at home as well. It's very convenient to use, and the most used app on my IPhone. I think everyone who owns an Iphone should have the Pandora app on their phone.

        I don't have any complaints about Pandora, and there is nothing I don't like about it.

        A lot of people complain about the Ads that are on Pandora, but I don't mind them at all. I get to listen to free music, and my favorite bands without having to pay any money for it. I can listen to Pandora for hours on end, and all I have to do is listen or watch a 30 second ad every now and then.

        I love Pandora and it's the only app that I have on my Iphone to listen to music.

         
        5.0

        Pandora

        By 

        from USA

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Pandora Internet Radio:

        I absolutely love Pandora! I have it on my tablet and on my cell phone and stream whenever I'm in the mood for music. I plug my phone into the car and stream this instead of listening to FM or AM stations. They have the biggest selection of stations I have yet to find, there is definitely something for everyone on here, even kids. It is extremely easy to set up your stations and you can either choose one to listen to or you can put it on random and listen to a little something from all your stations. Some of the songs even have the lyrics show so you can sing along! I am only using the free version of Pandora and I will say that the ads are not annoying like some free versions of apps can be. I get one or two very short ads that play every three or four songs. It is not as long as a commercial break on television or the radio so I rarely even notice them, sometimes the ads last a mere 15 seconds. I hope Pandora never goes away because I use it daily for my music and I would miss it!

         
        4.0

        Great on a computer, not impressed with the app

        By 

        from Pennsylvania

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Pandora Internet Radio:

        I love Pandora on my office computer! It is excellent to listen to during the day. The unique stations play different songs that you can listen to or dislike to skip to a new song. It loads quickly, and it has a good variety of songs on each station. I am not impressed with the app however, and that is why I only rated it an eight. The app plays commercials more frequently than the computer, and it often plays the same exact commercial all day. I am tired of hearing about the new Taco Bell Quesarito! If it would switch it up and play different commercials, I would give it a higher rating. Yes I know you can upgrade to Pandora one, but for a free app I am not impressed. I have found that the app "iheartradio" is much better with commercial breaks, playing much fewer of them and different ones to keep you interested. iheartradio also loads faster on my phone, although that may be just my phone type. I encourage users to try out other free music apps if you are also annoyed by the commercials.

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