Pink Floyd Are Wrong, Claims Pandora

Pandora has hit back at an open letter by Pink Floyd which accused the company of working to reduce artists royalties from internet radio streams.

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Internet radio service Pandora has hit back at an open letter by Pink Floyd this week which accused them of fooling artists into signing a petition which would reduce their royalty rates by 85%.

Pandora has long been under fire by songwriters who helped block an attempt last year to reduce royalties to artists. Now they're apparently planning another attempt to lobby congress, and have been collecting musician signatures to support their cause. But, according to Pink Floyd's open letter, it's not what it seems.

"The petition doesn't mention that Pandora is pushing the growth of its business directly at the expense of artists' paychecks ... A musician could read this 'letter of support' a dozen times ... without realizing she was signing a call to cut her own royalties to pad Pandora's bottom line," read the letter by the legendary rock band.

Now Pandora claims that Pink Floyd are simply mistaken, and that any claims they want to cut artist's pay by 85 percent are false:

"We have enormous respect for the members of Pink Floyd, and their amazing artistic contributions. We also respect the genuineness of their opinion ... Unfortunately, they have been given badly misleading information the result of a well-orchestrated campaign by the RIAA and their lobbying arm to mislead and agitate artists."

Pandora adds that they're the highest paying form on internet radio in the world.

What's your view on internet radio, now that Pandora is so widely used and others like Apple are about to enter the race with iTunes Radio? Will it ever work out for musicians? Let us know what you think in the comments.

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Pandora: "Pink Floyd, you're wrong." Pink Floyd: "Dear Pandora, we are Pink Floyd, your argument is void. Peace."
    Just because a band makes incredible music, doesn't make them geniuses in absolutely every area. I'm in no position to either agree with the Pandora guys or with Pink Floyd, because I don't understand the circumstances enough due to lack of information and experience. I'm guessing most of you are in the same boat, so stop saying stuff like "PINK FLOYD CAN'T BE WRONG!" Everyone can.
    I love how Pandora saids they're the highest paying but fail to show any proof or give numbers...
    To be fair, neither did Pink Floyd. I love Pink Floyd and I'm not saying they are wrong but neither of the arguments are very convincing. Pink Floyd is basically saying, "9/10 bands aren't going to see what we do in this letter of support" and Pandora is saying your wrong.Theres no proof on either side.
    I think one thing to keep in mind is that Pandora, generally, when a song is played, it counts as 'one' play on an artist's 'paycheck' from them (as in, 1 person heard it), while if you get a play on something like Sirius Radio, it's going out to 1000s of people at a time, so the discrepancy really lies in how much they're getting payed per play. If I get 1000 plays on Pandora (per month), I'm probably getting 1/10th of a cent per play (so about $10 before my record company, manager and band member splits), whereas if I'm good enough to get 1000 plays on Sirius per month, I might get 15 cents per play ($1500 before record company, manager and band member splits), which, at a certain point (especially with a band like Pink Floyd, who's probably getting 1000s and 1000s of plays per outlet) (ALL OF THESE ARE EXAMPLE NUMBERS), means that Pandora isn't nearly as profitable, and to increase Pandora's bottom line DOES mean a cut in artist's pay, because I'd be willing to bet that the record companies are going to want a higher cut to make up for what they're losing. The money at this point is really based on how many people are listening, and Pandora gets to easily claim it's '1 per play', which means profits from Pandora are already very low, and being that it's so very popular, it's not a very good moneymaker. I read about an artist (I want to say it was someone in Blur, maybe the guitarist) who made $15.00 for something like 1 million plays of a song (on Pandora) he wrote in a month while Sirius payed him $1200 for something like 1500 plays. That's a little silly. I guess I don't think Pink Floyd's very wrong here, and first we need to either get rid of record companies (or at least limit what percent they can take to something VERY low unless they lended money) before Pandora can 'raise their bottom line', or not at all support a higher bottom line for a program that could easily just double their advertising to make up what they 'THINK' they deserve to host a music player.
    Syd Barret would not have been party to this nonsense. He would have been off doing acid, and that should be the only news I hear about Pink Floyd. Damned industry
    Coming from your profile pic, I feel your the one off doing acid... Do you realize how f***** stupid you just sounded
    On the radio, you do NOT have a choice of songs you listen to and it's highly dependent on local and national advertising for revenues. On Pandora, Rdio, etc. you choose what you are listening to the majority of the time. Pandora is nothing like Rdio and Spotify and therefore is unique. Pandora went as far as buying an am radio station to try and get around the amount they pay per song. Internet based radio is a totally different puppy than am/fm broadcast radio so the royalties should remain different.I am totally content paying for Rdio as long as I can listen to what I want to listen to and not have songs and/or advertising thrown at me.
    I would say Pandora and Spotify are pretty similar. You can definitely choose what to listen to on Spotify.
    I think internet radio is awesome. I have it on cable, and it's a source for me to discover so many different artists that otherwise i might not have met.