Pandora Free And Paid Subscriptions

I love Pandora, the streaming Internet radio service. It has fundamentally changed the way I listen to music — as much as the iPod. It lets me listen to more of the artists I love, while introducing me to new ones. It's even introduced me to new genres of music based on artists I like. 

Moreover, Pandora delivers on any computer device, no matter where you are. We have a Sony Dash Internet appliance in our kitchen, and the Pandora app is almost always on. I have an Android smartphone phone, and the Pandora App is always on during my commute to and from work. Finally, I've long listened to Pandora on my laptop at work.

If you've never tried Pandora, go try it now.

Given the awesomeness of the core music service, I don't mind the occasional ads, even though they're mostly irrelevant to me. I don't know exactly how the ad system works, though I can tell from experience it probably serves audio and display ads based on user geo-location, actual demographics, and demographic assumptions based on the music genre I happen to be listening to at any given moment. 

But I'm challenged when listening to classical music at work through my laptop, specifically my Mozart channel. The growing frequency of ads has become prohibitively disruptive. I'm not sure if I'm being targeted excessively because of time of day, genre or device. Either way, I've had to abandon Pandora at work and divert my attention to other classical music sources — ones which help sustain my peak mental zone. 

I'm tempted to pony up and pay for Pandora's ad-free subscription service, though the last thing I need is yet another Internet subscription.  

Is the paid version of Pandora worth it? 

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

Join the Conversation


  1. Well this is a very old blog, so I’m sure you’ve already made your decision, but I’ve been a pandora subscriber going on a year now (I did the annual sub option). I’m up for renewal and wanted to see the benefits of subscribing to see if I really need it anymore. I’ve gotten so used to Pandora One that I don’t remember what the free version is like. I initially subscribed, because I used Pandora a lot and would hit the monthly time limit. After reading this, I was reminded about the ads. So my answer would be yes, it is worth it. I don’t think I use it enough now to hit the time limit, but ad-free listening would be nice. And it’s only $36 a year. I’m sure I lose more than that in the couch. While I do like free stuff, I think I’ve used Pandora enough since it’s release to contribute $36 to them, if nothing else, to thank them for providing great music!

  2. At $5 a month Pandora one is absolutely worth the price especially if you listen to it every day and are annoyed by ads. For me personally the pandora ads drive me absolutely crazy so I think my sanity is worth $5 a month so I pay for pandora because I love music and hate ads. You could spend $35 for a concert for 2 hours but cant spend $35 for 7 months of commercial free music? I’m surprised pandora subsription rate is not way higher.

Leave a comment