Closing the box: Pandora to limit free mobile service

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You’re only gonna have 40 hours to somehow make it from The Walkmen to Ja Rule now

The world of music streaming is an odd one. The sites that provide it, from the spit-shined and professional to the how-is-this-legal all work on the same kind of screwed-up premise that pays artists mere cents for every song played. But, it works for consumers, so the system carries on. But now clouds are rolling in on one of the free services, with the New York Times bringing news that Pandora, citing rising rising costs, is restricting their previously unlimited use of mobile apps to 40 hours per month. Back to illegal downloads it is!

Not unlike the MTA fare hikes, the price to license a song has only gone up in the last couple of years and is forecasted to still go up. At the same time, ad rates on mobile devices aren’t high enough to keep up with the licensing increase. So Pandora went with the only solution that seemed to make sense. Their CEO told the Times that this will only affect four percent of mobile customers, since most don’t approach 40 hours in a month. Though if we had to guess, a lot of them would be bartenders who hook their phones up to the stereo at work and leave them for hours at a time. Maybe then can start bringing their laptops to work with them?

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