Pink Floyd Attack 'Ripoff' Pandora

The band have warned other musicians not to sign a petition from Pandora which claims to support internet radio which secretly aims to cut musician royalties by 85%.

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Pink Floyd have targeted Pandora in a scathing open letter which criticizes the company for trying to slash royalty rates for online radio streams.

Last year Pink Floyd were among 130 bands to oppose Pandora's efforts to cut musician royalties, which helped stop their efforts at congress to reduce royalties.

However, Pandora is bouncing back by trying to enlist independent musician support with a petition to support digital radio - without mentioning that they will use the petition to help them cut royalty rates by 85%.

"The petition doesn't mention that Pandora is pushing the growth of its business directly at the expense of artists' paychecks," write Pink Floyd in USA Today. "Fine print is one thing. But a musician could read this "letter of support" a dozen times and hold it up to a funhouse mirror for good measure without realizing she was signing a call to cut her own royalties to pad Pandora's bottom line."

Despite these criticisms, Floyd suggest that there's still room for Pandora and musicians to find some common ground. "Artists would gladly work with Pandora to end AM/FM's radio exemption from paying any musician royalties a loophole that hurts artists and digital radio alike," say the band in one example.

Pink Floyd's letter echoes the sentiments of many musicians, but one industry observer thinks the band might have an ulterior motive for publishing their letter:

@soundboy My theory is that they got some Spotify equity and were told Pandora is enemy /competitor #1.

— J Herskowitz (@jherskowitz) June 25, 2013

Have you been duped by Pandora? What's your view on the rates that musicians are paid from online streams? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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28 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I don't think Pink Floyd necessarily need the money...but upcoming artists really don't deserve to get screwed by internet if they're not getting screwed enough by labels (if they have one) and club/bar owners.
    not the Pink Floyd reunion I was hoping for
    And no Pink Floyd reunion will be, because Waters doesn't want it.
    Apparently him and Nick Mason are up for it, but Gilmour doesn't want to. To be honest I'm alright with their last performance being at Live 8, without Rick Wright it wouldn't really count anyway.
    Waters and Gimour are both against a reunion. Ah well, maybe Nick can start touring by himself under the Pink Floyd name.
    You can't have a proper Pink Floyd reunion without Wright it just wouldn't work. Everyone in that band had their own part and without one of them it wouldn't be nearly as good. I saw Roger Water's play The Wall and it was good but something was missing in the guitar playing and whatnot. I honestly doubt Gilmour would ever do anything without Wright now that he's passed.
    Technically Nick Mason is the only member to have been in the band from day 1. He never left, never got fired, and was there in the initial incarnation with Barrett. Therefore Mason has more of a right to Floyd than anyone else and really could tour as Floyd if he wanted to. Gilmour didn't join until they were recording Saucerful of Secrets. Wright was fired during the writing of The Wall. Waters walked away after The Final Cut. Syd...well we all know about Syd. Nick Mason is the one who should have a say more than anyone else.
    Dead Eye Dick
    Sorry mate, you have a point, but Pink Floyd Really is between Waters and Gilmour. Simply due to the roles they play in the band- Lead vocals, Lead Guitar, Lead songwriting... Masons contribution to Pink Floyd was sick, and it wouldn't be the band without him, but I really don't think he's even been at the helm so to speak
    Dead Eye Dick
    I call bull on the spotify theory, Pink Floyd are filthy rich beyond comprehension, I doubt spotify could cut them a deal they'd give a dogs nuts about. They donate a considerable amount of their income to charity on a regular basis due to sheer guilt.
    An 85% cut? That would be kind of crazy... but it really should be noted that broadcast radio pays no royalties (based on the theory that over-the-air play supports album sales...????), while internet radio pays a ton. I had a small 'hobby' internet radio station that I had to shut down - the royalty cost alone was way above what I could make on it in advertising. Pandora is a beast in the internet radio industry - they pay a ton in royalties. Really, all they're asking for is some balance... instead of bleeding out one group of broadcasters while leaving the rest alone, why not bleed them all at a sustainable rate?
    I was surprised to learn that radio stations pay no royalties. I guess I could buy the argument that it supports album sales though.
    Wow Pink Floyd spoke..awe are we not making money off of the public buying your music anymore...maybe you should stop being a bunch of egotistical baby's and start thinking about your a tour with original members and you will have sold out shows everywhere...your fans are loyal unlike YOU the band itself....
    So they should sell out their own principles on the basis that there's demand? I think you're missing the point. Correction. I'm 100% certain that you're missing the point. As for getting the original members together? Grave robbery is illegal.
    It says Pink Floyd but i'd like to know who's hiding behind their name. they're not even a band since 1995. If they were actually saying: Members of Pink Floyd (quote Waters or Gilmour)are involve in this shit.. It would be credible.
    Considering the massive popularity of pandora and the huge amount they pay in royalties (which of course increases with increased pandora use), I think its reasonable to cut the royalties. Maybe not 85%, but they won't survive as a free radio station otherwise
    With research you can find various organisations within your country that you/your band can register with in order to be paid royalties. Twoshay states that broadcast radio doesn't pay royalties... Not strictly correct, there are funds collected and distributed through various means. Even unsigned bands can benefit from this. All it takes is a little time and googling in order to find out who is responsible. One of my bands managed to earn $4.30-something last year! A fortune that will be reinvested in extensive vintage instrument collection, the booking of months of studio time and international touring.