Pandora One subscribers may be tempted to give a thumbs down to the company's upcoming price changes.
The streaming music service announced a major overhaul of its price structure, some of which will start to be seen immediately with the rest kicking in come May.
"Over the next couple of months, we will be implementing some changes to our Pandora One subscription plan so that loyal listeners can continue to enjoy a premium, ad-free Pandora experience, the company said on its blog.
Pandora said the price hike is necessary in order for the streaming music service to continue to be able to provide an ad-free option to its listeners. The company cited rising costs over the last five years and anticipated increases going forward tied to the fact that the company has not raised its $3.99 subscription price since 2009.
So here is the scoop. Those listeners now paying $3.99 per month for the service will not see any change, at least for right now. New subscribers will be charged $4.99 per month, however, if a person signs up before May first they will be assigned the old $3.99 cost. Pandora is eliminating its less expensive annual package, which was $36, and pushing all those users into the $3.99 per month club.
Starting this week annual subscribers who are nearing their renewal date will be notified about the change.
Pandora said it has 250 million registered users with 3.3 million paid subscribers.
Even with the price increase Pandora is much less expensive than its competitor Spotify, however, for the soon to be $4.99 price, the user gets a lot less functionality. Pandora One subscribers do not receive any ads, are allowed to skip more songs per day and are given longer periods of time without having their station time out.
Spotify Premium customers pay $9.99 per month, but can play any track at any time, listen offline and not have to deal with ads. Offline mode downloads the songs you wish to hear onto your device while still connected.
Streaming music services are booming right now, with 28 million people worldwide paying for a subscription in 2013, up from 20 million in 2012, according to a report issued by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.