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January 8, 2008 / davebirss

Back in your box, Pandora!

Broken CDBoohoo. I got an email from Pandora last night telling me that they are having to terminate their service in the UK because our wonderful phonographic industry is being stupidly greedy again.

Their message read:

This is an email I hoped I would never have to send.

As you probably know, in July of 2007 we had to block usage of Pandora outside the U.S. because of the lack of a viable license structure for Internet radio streaming in other countries. It was a terrible day. We did however hold out some hope that a solution might exist for the UK, so we left it unblocked as we worked diligently with the rights organizations to negotiate an economically workable license fee. After over a year of trying, this has proved impossible. 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 and so, hugely disappointing and depressing to us as it is, we have to block the last territory outside of the US.

When will the UK’s music industry learn that this kind of service is something to be embraced? The greedy ‘money now’ attitude won’t work for much longer in today’s market. It was their resistant attitude to technology that led more people to turn to illegal downloading in the first place. I was getting hopeful that the industry was beginning to see the light by relaxing its unrealistic DRM restrictions. Maybe in the States – but not Britain, it seems.

Pandora was a fantastic tool for discovering new artists that suit your taste in music. I for one have bought new music because of the Pandora Tom Waits channel. It’s like free targeted advertising for the labels. If I was a signed artist, I would be delighted that new people were being introduced to my stuff.

So what now for my other favourite music sites – musicovery and finetune? Will they go the same way? I sincerely hope not. If that’s the case, I’ll be turning back to Limewire in my search for new music. Grrrrrr!

2 Comments

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  1. davebirss / Jan 8 2008 4:54 pm

    Cheers Steve,

    I’ve downloaded it. Now I’m just waiting for my subscription to HULU to be approved so that I can watch Arrested Development on demand. Yay!

    And yes. Lunch. Or drinks. Or summat. I’ll email you so that we can get together. It’ll be good to see you and catch up on news.

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