Maybe you love that guy in a fedora who plucked your heart strings in college, along with the rest of his behatted ilk, or you can’t help belting along to the best of Les Miserables. Sometimes when you love a genre of music so much, 40 hours of listening just isn’t enough. Rejoice, then, Pandora users: The company is planning on lifting its 40-hour free monthly mobile listening cap. Pandora set that cap back in February, dismaying many listener and inviting plenty of pouts. [More]
The music industry has experienced multiple earth-shifting changes in the last 15 years. Widespread Internet use brought us the era of free-for-all sharing with Napster and LimeWire. Then Apple’s iTunes legitimized digital music downloads as a viable distribution model, but also showed that record companies are not always needed to have a hit. Streaming services like Pandora now give users free access to virtually every available song, but at what cost to both the artist and the webcaster? [More]
Given that Apple reshaped the music industry with the iPod, it’s still a bit of a surprise that it’s been so far behind the curve on launching its own streaming music service. But a new report claims that Apple is now closing deals that would clear the way for it to stream away, right into users’ ears. [More]
Fans of streaming Internet radio service Pandora have long been devoted to the free mobile listening available across a number of devices. Sure, you might end up yelling at Pandora when Miley Cyrus comes on your Taylor Swift station (cough), but overall it’s a good fit for many listeners. And, it’s free! But starting this week, Pandora says it’ll limit free mobile listening for users to 40 hours per month. [More]
Assuming negotiations succeed, you’ll have your Pandora to listen to after all. On Tuesday, Congress passed the Webcaster Settlement Act, which gives Internet radio stations like Pandora until February 2009 to reach a new royalty agreement with copyright holders; if they meet the deadline, the government will not interfere, which is great news since it was the gov’s Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) that set the current market-killing fees in the first place.
When SoundExchange, the organization that represents many labels and artists, proposed steep new royalty rates for radio webcasters last year, they shortsightedly killed off their own revenue stream. Instead of their proposed rates being cut back as part of a standard negotiation, they were surprised to see the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board reject opposing arguments and adopt SoundExchange’s rates fully. Now Pandora, the popular streaming music site, says it’s paying over 70% of its revenue in royalties, and unless Washington changes the rates soon—which looks unlikely— they will have to shut down.
Wired’s Listening Post Blog claims that internet radio has been “saved” (for now, anyway) and that SoundExchange executive director Jon Simson “promised — in front of Congress — that SoundExchange will not enforce the new royalty rates. Webcasters will stay online, as new rates are hammered out.”
Ignoring all rationality and responding only to the lobbying of the RIAA, an arbitration committee in Washington DC has drastically increased the licensing fees Internet radio sites must pay to stream songs. Pandora’s fees will triple, and are retroactive for eighteen months! Left unchanged by Congress, every day will be like today as internet radio sites start shutting down and the music dies.