Music is for profit, not fun!
I won’t say that I didn’t see this coming, but I have been dreading it. Pandora may be near shutting down.
Last year, an obscure federal panel ordered a doubling of the per-song performance royalty that Web radio stations pay to performers and record companies.
[Pandora’s] royalty fees this year will amount to 70 percent of its projected revenue of $25 million, [Tim] Westergren said, a level that could doom it and other Web radio outfits.
Some of the stations I listen to, have breaks for ads, and some of the sites have banner ads and the like, but I think that people have been enjoying the freedom in both choice and cost for too long to see any viable way to make money from internet radio. I’d be very sad to see Pandora go away. On those days when I’m not streaming music from my home server, Pandora is a great way to find out about new artists and also laugh at the “similar to…” recommendations they serve up*.
I don’t have a car, so don’t listen to the radio on a regular basis aside from NPR and I rarely catch All Songs Considered anymore. Oddly enough, one of the ways I hear a lot of new music is from ads on tv. The iPod ads aside, I couldn’t tell you what the product is, but I wouldn’t have sought out “Remind Me,” “Love Song,” “5 Years Time,” or “Let the Drummer Kick” if it hadn’t been for ads on the tube.
Between SoundExchange and the RIAA**, the message seems to be that music is a commodity, the fact that it entertains and/or moves you is merely a side-effect. Perhaps next up they’ll be sending around teams of imposing looking lawyers to shake down buskers on street corners and outside metro stations.
* Have you also noticed that if you start diligently rating songs on any station, they all start to become the same station?
** Who just shut down Muxtape.