It’s telling that the deal was announced in an editorial written by Christopher Harrison, Pandora’s assistant general counsel, in the Hill, a Washington newspaper covering legislative minutiae. Pandora’s future relies more on laws and courts than on its ability to successfully run KXMZ, Hits 102.7.
Businessweek: Pandora Buys a Radio Station, Just to Make a Point About Royalties, June 12, 2013
Just in case you didn’t quite get it before, Pandora has now demonstrated unequivocally that they loathe songwriters so much that they’d literally do anything to screw them. Including antics like buying an FM radio station.
Music Tech Policy by Chris Castle:Tim Westergren’s Mask Is Slipping: Pandora’s Scorched Earth Attack on Songwriters, June 11, 2013
There may be plenty of music-lovers in the nation’s 46th largest state, but Pandora’s purchase of a South Dakota top 40 music station last week certainly wasn’t about them.
Upstart Business Journal: Pandora’s bold plunge into mainstream radio, and a lesson for startups, June 12, 2013
The company is also trying to convince everyone that this about “the community” and not just pleasing their money-hungry investors… Despite its stated intentions to make its service better and please “the community,” it also seems like Pandora bought a radio station in South Dakota as a big publicity stunt in an attempt to highlight its plight with the record industry which is still stubbornly trying to make money for its artists.
Gizmodo: Why Pandora Just Bought an FM Radio Station in South Dakota, June 12, 2013
“…the FCC has sent Pandora letter, according to an ASCAP filing with the rate court, that says that Pandora hasn't adequately complied with supplying the agency with ownership information so it can determine if Pandora is at least 75% owned by U.S. citizens, which means foreign ownership must be capped at 25%.”
Billboard: FCC Shelves Pandora's Bid For South Dakota Radio Station, January 15, 2014
Its first foray into traditional radio broadcasting, the move has little to do with strategic shift and everything to do with royalty costs… Pandora’s costs savings will be small. The preferential royalty rates are expected to snag savings worth less than 1 percent of its revenue versus the rates it is currently paying.
CNET: Pandora to buy radio station to piggyback onto cheaper costs, June 11, 2013
Members like me depend on ASCAP to negotiate fair deals on our behalf, so we can earn a living as more listeners discover and enjoy our music across a wide variety of platforms, including Internet radio… I like streaming music online as much as the next guy. And I certainly appreciate the opportunities it creates for me as an artist to reach new listeners. But Pandora is misleading readers by claiming to be on the side of artists, when its recent actions firmly prove otherwise. Shame on us if we let them continue the charade.
The Hill: Pandora is stiffing artists by songwriter Josh Kear, June 13, 2013
“This is yet another sad step in Pandora’s war against songwriters,” National Music Publishers Association president David Israelite told Digital Music News. “While other digital music partners choose to enter into voluntary licensing deals, Pandora chooses to try to enrich itself through a strategy of suing creators and gimmicks. The only positive development from this is that Pandora has removed any shred of credibility it had with creators and now can be seen for what it is — a company with no interest in treating songwriters fairly.” Digital Music News: Songwriters Respond: “This Is Another Sad Step in Pandora’s War Against Us...”, June 12, 2013
“In a setback to its music licensing plans, Pandora has received word from the FCC that for the time being it is no longer processing its application to transfer ownership of the broadcasting license for KXMZ, the Rapid City, South Dakota radio station it acquired last June. Pandora had hoped to take advantage of the lower rates that internet streaming services owned by terrestrial radio stations enjoy.”
The Trichordist: FCC Shelves Pandora’s Bid For South Dakota Radio Station | Billboard, January 20, 2014