- Pandora's (P) ad-free One radio service, currently offered for $36/year or $3.99/month, will cost $4.99/month for new subscribers starting in May. Annual subs will get a "discounted loyalty price" of $3.99/month at renewal time, and current monthly subs will see no price changes.
- Higher royalty rates are blamed for the hike. Pandora says the rate it pays to recording royalty group SoundExchange (responsible for a large chunk of its licensing fees) has risen 53% in the last 5 years, and is expected grow another 9% in 2015.
- Pandora's "subscription & other" revenue soared 132% Y/Y in Q4 to $38.8M, and made up 19% of total revenue. The company ended 2013 with 3.3M subs (compares with 75.3M active listeners in February).
- The ad-free version of Apple's iTunes Radio costs only $25/year, and comes bundled with an iTunes Match subscription. But the service doesn't work on Android devices.
- Earlier: Pandora's CTO/product chief stepping down
at CNBC.com (Nov 18, 2014)