Pandora May Close

What is easily, to my mind, the best and most innovative music service on the Internet may be closing soon, as Pandora can no longer pay the royalty rates demanded by record labels.  This is really too bad.  I am a paying customer of Pandora (it is a free service on the Internet, but I pay $30 or $40 a year to listen to it on my Squeezebox streaming system at home). 

I can say with total confidence that Pandora has caused me to buy more music than any other outside force has caused me to buy since my ill-fated flirtation with Columbia House when I was a teenager.  I have gotten streams going that were so great that I had Amazon open in a second window, and was banging out CD orders almost as fast as Pandora could serve up tunes.  I have thought for years that this would be a natural fit for Amazon or iTunes.  Too bad the record labels can't understand this.


  1. Dave:

    It's not the record labels but rather their ignorant lawyers. Not for nothing are lawyers not known as savvy businessmen.

  2. Brad Warbiany:

    Two things...

    One, as I was listening to Pandora at work and am a big fan of the service, I was sickened and ready to fire off an immediate angry blog post about this.

    Two, though, I'm not sure where this is coming from. If you follow the link beyond Reason to Conde Nast, there is no corroborating news story or links to this claim that Pandora is about to die. I don't see anything on Pandora's blog. A search of doesn't point me to any similar claims.

    Can you find any corroborating evidence to the post at Conde Nast (

  3. David Damore:

    Possible source... Jul 17, 2008

    "It has been a year since you, and 2 million of your fellow SaveNetRadio supporters fought off a crippling royalty rate increase for webcasters and delayed the death of Internet radio. In spite of the public outcry to preserve the future of Internet radio and in spite of growing support in Congress – more than 150 co-sponsors of the Internet Radio Equality Act – the industry is still facing extinction..."

    Found with a Google Advanced Search with a date range...

    Could have used a TinyURL but decided that showing the full link was best.

    Please share any new information you find.

    Facebook Group will probably be coming soon.

  4. Allen:

    Seems like the record industry, at lest in the big old traditional companies, is suffering from some of the same problems the big traditional airlines are suffering from. That is, they seem to really struggle to have any sort of vision of how they can better runs things in 2008. In many ways they seem to be stuck trying to run things like they did 25 years ago.

  5. David Damore:

    Below is what Pandora posted on Twitter today.

    "pandora_radio Speaking of @savenetradio, if you're interested in being in a video as a listener in support of net radio, please help! "

    Here is what is posted at the link above...

    " July 24, 2008
    Let's defend internet radio!


    Last week, we asked for listener-submitted videos ("Want To Be On Camera?"). We got a great response, but we would love to see more. You can send your video in whatever format you prefer -- Webcam, WMV, MPEG-4, MOV, whatev -- and it should be just a one- or two-sentence explanation of what you love about internet radio, and why you would hate to see internet radio disappear.

    Something along the lines of:

    "It's hard to find classic big-band music on traditional radio. Internet radio gives me swing."

    ... or
    "If my conscious hip-hop station went away, I'd be really upset."

    ... or
    "Internet radio gives me many more choices for classical music listening than I can find anywhere else."

    We now have a place where you can upload your videos. Once you have your video, go to The username, folder name, and pw are all "SaveNetRadio." These videos will be used in a larger piece we're producing in defense of internet radio, specifically supporting the SaveNetRadio campaign. Thanks for listening, and especially, thanks for speaking up.

    Kevin "

    Give it a shot if you are interested.


  6. David Damore:

    By Peter Whoriskey
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Saturday, August 16, 2008; Page D01

    Giant of Internet Radio Nears Its 'Last Stand'
    Pandora, Other Webcasters Struggle Under High Song Fees

    "Yet the burgeoning company may be on the verge of collapse, according to its founder, and so may be others like it.

    ""We're approaching a pull-the-plug kind of decision," said Tim Westergren, who founded Pandora. "This is like a last stand for webcasting.""