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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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2008 @ 6:05pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous, 26 Sep 2008 @ 6:13pm

    This will be it for me

    I have bought quite a few songs from iTunes that I've heard on Pandora. If they are shut down by the RIAA I am no longer going to buy music....

    If they're going to be this big of bastards they don't deserve _any_ money from _anyone_.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Nick Stamoulis, 26 Sep 2008 @ 6:15pm

    This is such a shame. Pandora is one of the best sites on the web and I too have purchased music because of it. This is the perfect thing to expose users to new music with and for them to get shut down would be senseless.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Semi-anonymous, 26 Sep 2008 @ 7:00pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Chris Davis, 26 Sep 2008 @ 7:42pm

    Bite the Hand

    Classic example of how the music industry continues to bite the hand that feeds them. I also have found many artists on Pandora and purchased music as a result.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Cynic, 26 Sep 2008 @ 7:47pm

    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".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    James Stevens, 26 Sep 2008 @ 11:03pm


    I really hope Pandora doesn't get shut down... it's an excellent project and it's intuitive... not to mention it plays new, not previously heard music in a genre style that caters to the user. Talk about a great way for bands to gain fans... or gain money, same thing.

    It's too bad they don't even realize this fact...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    mike allen, 26 Sep 2008 @ 11:47pm

    back lash

    this will cause a backlash from fans more than Nabstar did against RIAA and conventional radio

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    August West, 27 Sep 2008 @ 3:17am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Oni, 27 Sep 2008 @ 3:55am

    Re: This will be it for me

    They aren't going to be, they are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Joe Gagliardo, 27 Sep 2008 @ 6:20am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    bigpicture, 27 Sep 2008 @ 10:23am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2008 @ 10:54am

    Such NAAABS

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Greevar, 27 Sep 2008 @ 11:33am


    Finally? I think it's been quite apparent for some time now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    comboman, 27 Sep 2008 @ 12:39pm

    Re: NAB must be MAD

    The NAB represents radio stations (the same way RIAA represents music labels). Unlike the RIAA, they are not in the business of selling music, they are in the business of selling listeners to advertisers. They don't care if Pandora would increase record sales, they only want to eliminate their competition.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Dirk Belligerent, 27 Sep 2008 @ 1:23pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Chainsaw, 27 Sep 2008 @ 11:33pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonomous, 28 Sep 2008 @ 4:01am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Anonomous, 28 Sep 2008 @ 4:55am

    Re: NAB is overstepping their area of expertise?

    Just making sure Inslee Best was connected with Jay Inslee.

    I'm pretty sure it is. Doublecheck that. Because I want to make sure my last sentence of "It will be legit via discovery." is valid.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Michial, 28 Sep 2008 @ 5:59am

    Business is Business

    In business you take advantage of every tactic that you have available to keep the competition from growing. This is no different, so quit crying over it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    JLE, 28 Sep 2008 @ 7:29am

    Even if Pandora is taken out, it will reincarnate in some other form. People simply don't want to swallow advertising with their music. The art/advertising pair has always been a terrible business model, and through technology it will eventually fail.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    NullOp, 28 Sep 2008 @ 12:06pm


    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...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. icon
    MadJo (profile), 29 Sep 2008 @ 2:10am

    F***ing corporate morons.
    I hate terrestrial radio (anywhere in the world, it's all crap on a stick being shoved through our throats against our will)
    I'm sticking to my mp3-player with podcasts and music from artists who do get it.

    The corporate idiots can f*** the h*** off.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    Annon, 29 Sep 2008 @ 3:26am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    pb, 29 Sep 2008 @ 5:17am

    Re: Death to Clear Channel

    not to be a pandora hater, but they aren't that independent anymore. they are owned by hearst publications.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    Jesse, 29 Sep 2008 @ 12:02pm

    what else is new

    It was bound to happen.....and its gonna continue to happen. And ofcourse we will complain and the corps will continue to make money and shut the other outlets down. I just keep oing what I have been doing. Get my friends to "rip" and "burn" the stuff I like.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    another mike, 29 Sep 2008 @ 12:18pm

    music and stuff

    I haven't bought any music since 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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. identicon
    Yumi, 6 Oct 2008 @ 8:44pm

    Is this why I can't connect?

    I've been trying to connect to Pandora the last two days, but cannot... is this battle the reason? What a loss.

    Glad to learn something new... it is owned by Hearst publications:

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. identicon
    Paul Counts, 18 Oct 2009 @ 12:33am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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