Pandora Radio – Not Exactly Free

I use Pandora at work and in my home office for a little background noise and yesterday I received an e-mail message from Pandora support about reaching the monthly free listening limit of 40 hours. I guess its there in the fine print somewhere on their site and I apparently took their web site title too literally, "Pandora Radio – Listen to Free Internet Radio…". Here's the e-mail message I received from Pandora:

You Are Approaching Your Free Listening Limit

We wanted to let you know that you are approaching your monthly free listening limit. Pandora gives you 40 hours of free listening per month.
Why is free monthly listening limited?

If you'd like to listen more, you have three options. We hope that one of these works for you:

1. Pay 99 cents. Once you reach Pandora's free monthly listening limit, the music will stop and you will be presented with an option to pay just 99 cents to continue unlimited listening for the rest of February. This is a one-time fee which requires a credit card, and it does not recur automatically.

2. Pay $36 to upgrade to Pandora One. For unlimited monthly listening as well as other cool features, you can upgrade to Pandora One for $36 per year.
Learn more about Pandora One

3. Pay Nothing. If neither of the above options is right for you, simply come back in March to start listening to your stations again.

The Pandora Team

I have to say I'm not surprised, Pandora is a great service for music lovers or even casual listerners like myself and lets face it we live in a capitalist world (mostly) so anything that proves to be valuable to someone doesn't stay free for long and I'm sure Pandora's datacenter provider and ISP isn't donating computing resources and bandwidth to keep Pandora going. I guess I'm off to enter my credit card information at now.

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