Pandora, the popular music streaming service, has always imposed a 40 hour monthly limit for streaming on free accounts. Today it scheduled to remove that limit and in the next month free accounts will be able to stream an unlimited amount of music every month. Concerns quickly raised regarding the free portion of the service debating a possible increased length and appearance of advertisements.
This change in Pandora’s free subscription model was made possible by improved ads in its mobile app platform. According to Tim Westergren Pandora has more than 70 million monthly listeners and is reported to be the third largest ad revenue earner behind Google and Facebook.
However, it’s even more likely that this change was made possible due to the fact that only 4% (2.8 million) of Pandora’s free listeners will stream more than 40 hours of music every month. The music streaming service has yet to become profitable, however it hopes that by 2nd quarter 2014 it can change that.
Pandora still offers its premium service Pandora One for $36 per year.