/// Pandora Says Musicians Will Get More if It Pays Less. How Does That Work?
The latest round of Pandora vs. the music business is really complicated, because music licensing is really complicated.* It’s also very simple: Pandora wants to spend less money on music rights every time it streams a song over the Web. Many people who own music rights want Pandora to spend more. But wait a minute. Doesn’t Pandora say that’s not true? In a blog post published last week, founder Tim Westergren said Pandora is actually “advocating for solutions that would grow total payments to artists.” It’s a message he repeats all the time, as in yesterday’s interview with the Financial Times : “Our goal is to have those total payments go up.” Time for a translation: What Westergren and other Pandora executives are really arguing is that if they spend less on each stream of music they distribute, rights-holders will collectively end up with more money. Perhaps they are not being as clear about that as they ought to be, and perhaps that’s because the argument is a bit hard to accept. Because Pandora’s rights payouts are based on usage. And Pandora users, who don’t pay for the ad-supported service,** won’t listen to more or less music if the company’s fee structure changes. So how would lower streaming fees end up growing the pie
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Pandora Says Musicians Will Get More if It Pays Less. How Does That Work?