Pandora Never Says Die

    September 29, 2008
    Chris Crum

PandoraPandora’s obituary was all but written last month as SoundExchange called for higher royalty payments from the Internet Radio site, and others like it. But there is a little life in the site and in the industry yet.

At a time when Internet radio needed it the most in light of the royalties issue and the massive launch of MySpace Music, a group of Congressmen wrote up a bill that would extend the amount of time Pandora and others would have to reach an agreement with the recording industry agencies. This is exactly what these Internet Radio providers needed, as progress has been made toward reaching deals. Pandora CEO Tim Westergren sent out emails to Pandora users like this one I received over the weekend, which was apparently geographically targeted:

Hi, it’s Tim from Pandora;

Today, thanks to the extraordinary support of many Pandora listeners, we took a giant step forward when the House of Representatives supported Pandora and Internet radio and passed the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008.  Now we need your help so that the Senate will pass it also – and quickly… The finish line is in sight!

After a yearlong negotiation, Pandora, SoundExchange and the RIAA are finally optimistic about reaching an agreement on royalties that would save Pandora and Internet radio.  The legislation would give us the extra time we need to finalize the deal.

Please call your Senators Monday morning starting at 9:00 (Eastern) and ask them to support the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008.

The person who answers the phone in your Senator’s office may ask for the bill number – it’s H.R. 7084 (if they ask for a Senate bill number, you can assure them that in this unusual case, the Senate is actually voting on the House bill number).

Senator Mitch McConnell: (202) 224-2541

Senator Jim Bunning: (202) 224-4343

If the phone is busy, please try again until you get through. These calls really do make a difference.

Thanks so much for you ongoing support.


According to Dallas News
, the National Association of Broadcasters (traditional radio stations) are lobbying against the Webcaster Settlement Act and threaten to impede it, so Pandora and its kind are relying on their users more than ever, which explains the aggressive campaign to call attention to the matter.

No matter how it turns out for these guys, nobody will be able to say that Pandora went down without a fight. Meanwhile MuxTape is in the process of reinventing itself.