Those who want to listen to Pandora without ads are going to have to pay a little bit more from now on.
The Internet radio giant on Tuesday announced that it is hiking the price of its ad-free Pandora One service for new subscribers amidst raising royalty rates. Beginning in May, anyone who signs up for the service for the first time will be charged $5 per month, or $1 more than the current rate.
Pandora first launched the service back in 2009, and has not increased subscription prices since then.
“Over this same period, the costs of delivering this service have grown considerably,” the company wrote in a blog post. “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.”
Besides raising the rate for new subscribers, Pandora is also getting rid of the $36 annual subscription option altogether. All existing annual subscribers will be moved to a discounted “loyalty price” of $4 per month at their next renewal period, which works out to $1 a month more than the yearly rate. Beginning this week, Pandora will send out notices about the price hike to all existing annual subscribers approaching their renewal rate.
SOURCE: ANGELA MOSCARITOLO