Pandora Exits UK, Protests Net Radio Rates â??Far Too Highâ??
January 8, 2008 at 5:43 AM (PT)
Music recommendation engine PANDORA will switch off in the U.K. indefinitely on JANUARY 15th, blaming royalties agencies for strangling its business. PANDORA shut off access to those outside the U.S. in JULY "because of the lack of a viable license structure for internet radio streaming in other countries," reports PAIDCONTENTUK.COM. Despite having tried to hammer out such a structure since then, founder TIM WESTERGREN emailed U.K. users last night to say the switch-off will take place JANUARY 15th.
Wrote WESTERGREN, "Both the PPL (which represents the record labels) and the MCPS/PRS ALLIANCE (which represents music publishers) have demanded per track performance minima rates which are far too high to allow ad supported radio to operate. We have been told to sign these totally unworkable license rates or switch off, non-negotiable."
He suggests the issue affects more than just PANNDORA saying the U.K., "an epicentre of musical creativity", is failing to back new businesses. "The only consequence of failing to support companies like PANDORA that are attempting to build a sustainable radio business for the future will be the continued explosion of piracy, the continued constriction of opportunities for working musicians, and a worsening drought of new music for fans."