Pandora Goes Pay

The popular music streaming site Pandora radio,  has buckled under the streaming radio royalty rates imposed by law through the lobbying of the labels, and has been forced to limit the site’s usage to 40 hours a month. Users who use the service more than this will have to pay a surcharge of about $1. “Pandora One” subscribers ($36 per year) will not be affected by the limits.

The notification, sent to the inboxes of current Pandora users, says that this will only affect 10% of the users. I love the service, and probably fall into that 10% category. I may just have to shell out the cash to keep using it.

Personally, I love Pandora and I was pretty disappointed to find that message from their CEO in my inbox this morning. I cannot blame the site though. They’re doing a great job, and its unfortunate that external business and political pressures have colluded to stifle freedom and creativity that comes from innovation like Pandora has always displayed. Pandora chose to do introduce these necessary fees in a “classy” way, if you will, by my estimate by maintaining their free service for most of their users.

Mark one more in the Big Content’s “Evil Victories” column.

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