NAB Trying To Cut Off Pandora's Air Supply

from the can't-stand-the-heat,-huh? dept

We’ve already covered how Pandora will most likely need to shut down, if the royalty rates set for web streaming aren’t changed. While there were agreements earlier this week on some forms of online streaming royalties, it was not the ones that are the problem for Pandora. Pandora has been negotiating a more reasonable rate that would let the company survive, and it has been making progress. However, it needs a bit more time. Amazingly, Pandora, the RIAA and SoundExchange all agree that they’re making progress, and with a bit more time they can probably iron this out. To that end, Rep. Jay Inslee introduced a minor bit of legislation to give them more time to work things out.

So what happens? The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has started actively lobbying against the bill. Basically, the NAB recognizes that Pandora is a direct competitor to the terrestrial radio stations who make up its members. But, rather than compete, it’s hoping that the RIAA’s fight with Pandora will cause Pandora to go out of business. This is, of course, quite typical of the NAB’s lobbying efforts. Remember how strongly it fought against allowing XM and Sirius to merge. It was the same situation, where it was hoping to use legal efforts to kill off competitors, rather than competing in the market. Pandora is asking people to contact their congressional Reps. to make sure that the NAB isn’t allowed to cut off Pandora’s air supply, just as it gets close to (finally) working out an agreement to stay alive.

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Companies: nab, pandora, riaa, sound exchange

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Comments on “NAB Trying To Cut Off Pandora's Air Supply”

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29 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

This is where the record industry’s / NAB’s antics are finally shown as corrupt. Where am I supposed to find out about music if they shut down every venue except terrestrial radio? Oh, I am not SUPPOSED to find out about music. I am just supposed to buy the music that they trick me into buying as cheaply as possible.

Semi-anonymous says:

Talking about cutting off ones nose to spite the face

I agree with Anonymous – Pandora has introduce me to several artist which induced me to buy the tracks or albums from Itunes. I hardly ever listen to music radio anymore since they beat a song to death and have really little variety. So if the artist want me to quit buying their tunes- just kill Pandora – that service is what enticed me into getting an Iphone and start buying music. I have never seen such a short-sited and self-defeating industry as the “music” business. None of what they do makes any semblance of common or even business sense – lets make all of our customers mad – lets sue them and be vindictive as hell to the very people that should make them rich.

Cynic says:

If the recent financial news has shown anything it’s that the US government has been bought and paid for by lobbyists. They’re not even ashamed of it anymore. So why should broadcasters compete when they can run crying to the politicians that they paid good money for? Spineless lazy hollow “business” people living like the boy in the bubble thanks to the protectionism provided by the corrupt elected “officials”.

August West says:

Death to Clear Channel

Gee, do you think Clear Channel has anything to do with the NAB lobbying against this bill? Duh….So they can try to limit us to choosing between one of their lame-ass formulaic, focus-group-derived generic playlist radio stations in one of 4 or five formats based solely on numbers and demographics centered around the advertisors for said demographics? Clear Channel is evil and has been instrumental in the death of Soo-ooo many independently owned “real” FM stations – they are like the Starbucks of Radio. “Appeal to the masses, eliminate originality, and squash any competition that has any.” Death to clear channel. Listen to Satellite, Pandora and INDEPENDENTLY owned radio stations. Remember the stations you hear the “Clear Channel” blurb on, and stay away. Oh, and don’t forget to contribute to NPR.

Soap box over, thanks.

Joe Gagliardo (user link) says:

NAB must be MAD

Pandora is exactly how I find new music to buy. I have not listened to broadcast radio since 1990. Satellite Radio, streaming internet radio stations, if it wasn`t for these there is no way I would have been able to buy 1700 albums over the last 17 years. As a matter of fact I probably would have bought fewer than one third of them in all. Without exposure to good music, there is no way to find it and buy it. Way to go NAB! Your attempts at self-preservation are self-defeating.

bigpicture says:

The Future

To know what this is all about you need to take the long view and see what the future for music is all about. The past & present business model was that the recording companies and the radio stations etc. were “middle men” between the artists and the music consumers. AND GET THEIR LARGE CUT.

The internet and these new digital technologies in the end will mean that there is no need for the “middle man” just the “middle technology” between the artist and the music consumers. This middle technology has THREE MAJOR benefits, it has the potential to give consumers easier access to a wider variety of music product, it has less of a filtering effect between all that the artists produce and what the consumers will ever hear, and less cost passed on to the consumer, and of course NO NEED FOR A MIDDLE MAN. The you can see what whose interests and concerns would be with that scenario, control, control, control.

Dirk Belligerent (profile) says:

I wonder how many people whining about “lobbyists buying government” are hungry for the socialized medical system that “universal health care” would institute? Do they realize that the same shens that happen here (and everywhere) would happen with health care? (Probably not. I’ve never noticed much intellectual rigor on the left side of the political spectrum. CHANGE! HOPE! Yeah, that’s deep.)

The problem isn’t that lobbyists are buying the whorish politicians, but that the government has the power and control authority in the first place that makes the purchase of these whores necessary in the first place. Because nothing gets down without Uncle Sam’s say-so, pols have turned their offices into Mafia-like protection racket shakedown shops. “Youse wants some protections from doze Interwebs peoples? Drop off a sack of unmarked non-sequential bills and we’ll, you know, takes care of doze guys for ya.”

If the government didn’t control so much of our lives, then lobbyists wouldn’t be able to buy advantage and pols wouldn’t be able to sell it to keep their worthless asses in office. You want corruption and money out of government, strip it of its abusive powers! Otherwise, STFU and enjoy your serfdom.

Chainsaw says:

And so?

Mass media only works if they can cultivate mass taste. Whatever kinds of companies can sell niche music to niche listeners, they aren’t the kinds that can sell mass audiences to advertisers who want to shape entire cultures, not just product preferences.

For someone like Sony or Disney, to settle for merely selling music to consumers would be rather like settling for holding your exe’s hand while s/he humps hobos.

Anonomous says:

NAB is overstepping their area of expertise?

Google could buy all of the newspapers in America and have 12B left over. Don’t do evil, NAB.

As a NAB member, I can honestly say NAB from first hand experience, your full of shit.

On my side, I will speak with Jay Inslee personally within the next week. After mentioning a similar situation in Feb, I think I know how things work.

NAB, we’ll have a lot of fun with you. This time, it will be legit via discovery.

Your move.

NullOp says:

Losers!

ANY company that bases their competitive edge on litigation is a loser corporation that does not deserve to exist! Period!!! BTW, yeah, that does include an awful lot of companies. Also, changing the color of your product does NOT qualify it as being a new product. Once again, “Corporations of America! You’re all worthless and weak!” A good number of you anyway…

Annon says:

I miss it so

After months lacking Pandora and finding no good replacement (Last FM just plays the same pop rubbish I hear on the radio), I finally gave in and got myself a good US proxy.

An hour later and I’ve already found two new albums I need to get. Its a guilty pleasure, a bit like sneaking past the vengeful parents of an old girlfriend to recapture that spark.

another mike says:

music and stuff

I haven’t bought any music since mp3.com was shut down. And I still don’t own as much music as I did then. I’ve got the three radio stations near me; country that I don’t listen to, formulaic pop/rock and commercials, and moldy oldies. The rock station even has a DJ that can’t keep a theme going three songs in a row. I am so close to converting all my radios to internet/satellite radio. I saw a Wifi internet radio alarm clock the other day; looked promising but I’d have to know some shortsighted moneygrubber wasn’t going to make it worthless by shutting down the stations.

Paul Counts (profile) says:

Competition is Just a Part of Business.

It is really too bad that the NAB is trying to strong arm someone out of business because they are a direct competitor to them. Competition is a part of business and Pandora has an awesome service and an outstanding business model. I am assuming that all went through ok though because I am still able to use their great service.

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