Pink Floyd on Pandora

Interesting read here:
-- Howard
This is a two way street. Some might suggest that artists (at least the ones that are relatively unknown or extremely ambitious) should be paying Pandora, and not the other way around. I own all of Joe Bonnamassa's CDs. I might not have heard him if not for Pandora.
Thanks for that. As much as I love Pandora, I will not subscribe if it helps their profits at the expense of artists' income. I am a Pandora One subscriber, but that could change.
Not sure what to make of that except I'm sure it will work out in the end.

I wouldn't be so sure of a happy ending here. This is a very complicated issue and I'm more "familiar" than "expert" on the issues, but here's one ugly possible outcome:

While I'm not specifically defending Pandora's initiative, this industry (subscription music services) is facing an extreme economic squeeze in which AFAIK everyone is losing money. The small checks that artists receive are much more reflective of the same pricing pressure that these companies face (i.e. - no one wants to pay for music) than they are of any windfall profits. If no one can raise prices, they try to cut costs. Right or wrong, the alternative is commodity competition at uneconomic pricing.

The operative rule in this scenario is that "He who runs out of money last...wins."

In this case, that's almost certainly Spotify. These companies are all AFAIK held by small institutions partnered with entrepreneurs. Spotify, OTOH, is owned by a consortium of Sony Music, Warners, EMI, Universal, et al. Deep pockets and enough market power to easily absorb losses on the subscription side in the short run. If Spotify simply waits the other guys out and picks them off as they run out of money, the major labels will back into collective control of the subscription music business. While this may not be a terrible result, the opportunity for mischief is high. Imagine this meeting : "You want a record deal with Warners (or EMI or Sony, etc), you stream exclusively with Spotify."

That result will like benefit no one (especially the artists), except for the record labels.

Marty, yeah, shakeouts, acquisitions, etc. seem par for the course when it comes to these kinds of new things. It'll be interesting to see where it goes. Brand/label owned internet music services would seem in line with what has been going on in the entertainment (and news) industry for quite a while, only internet music services and stations are the newer kids on the block. I think it safe only to assume that as long as there is money to made in the music industry, someone will step in to make it.
Well, it's not exactly anything new. Record labels, managers, publishing companies, etc. have been getting musicians and songwriters to sign away the income from their music since music has been recorded, and probably well before that.

If we could get the relatively few artists who make huge fortunes playing music to bankroll an internet streaming service that treated artists fairly, we might make some progress with that problem.
Danaroo has a good point which I agree with. Those guys need Pandora. Pink Floyd does not. Pandora might need Pink Floyd so they can use them as a seed to help people find other lesser known similar artists. Even newer popular money making artists might need Pandora and their ilk as a means of helping not fall off the map as their star fades. Artists I hear on Pandora like Rhianna, Flo Rida, and many others. Artist like Pink Floyd who are well past their prime but still manage to retain popularity, less so, but not totally. So I could understand where Pink Floyd thinks they are not getting a good deal. Of course, these kind of acts are not starving artists and in most any other industry would be fully retired by now with NO new income coming in (other than retirement savings, Social Security, etc.). So they really need to not buck the system too much and be thankful they are still receiving royalties for their past work.
The holy grail for the music industry right now is to create a cloud based subscription service locking consumers into a monthly payment that can be raised over time like the television cable model. The complexities come into play when the cash flow is carved up. Of course, the cable tv model is under pressure from the internet viewing model as technology continues to progress. I am encouraged by the resurrecting vinyl movement even though I own a ridiculous number of cd's. Music services are great in the car, but I still enjoy tangible assets with cool artwork, liner notes, and a full album of songs. Getting everyone associated with that production paid is the challenge.
What struck me in the Floyd-authored op-ed piece -- and what prompted me to post it here in the first place -- was the idea that Pandora, at least as the writers would have us believe, is attempting to snow the artists, saying one thing while hoping for another. If Pandora wants to change its royalty structure, it should be upfront about it.
There were plenty of stories back in the day about unscrupulous labels or "managers" or publishing companies (or whatever) getting someone who didn't know any better to sign onto an absolutely terrible deal. When I read this piece, it reminded me of those tales, making me wonder if this might be our era's version of same.
-- Howard
"What struck me in the Floyd-authored op-ed piece -- and what prompted me to post it here in the first place -- was the idea that Pandora, at least as the writers would have us believe, is attempting to snow the artists, saying one thing while hoping for another. If Pandora wants to change its royalty structure, it should be upfront about it."

I would agree with that. Its an op-ed piece though, so no assurance all the facts are related and assessed unbiasedly. I am not familiar with them so dunno. A cleverly disguised campaign for corporate advantage? Plenty of those that go around. Truth usually comes out in the end no matter what. We'll see....
Hodu - fair point.

I'ts likely that Pandora downplayed the negative impact of their proposal when they circulated their request for signatures on a petition. Companies tend to do that.
It's also clear that whatever case Pandora made in their request (i.e. that artists will ultimately benefit from the proposal) was downplayed in the USA Today piece. Indignant pronouncements tend to do that, too.

Again, I'm not defending Pandora here - I don't have enough information for that. I'm just pointing out that there are complexities here and the devil is so often in the details (which, of course, we lack!)


BTW - Full disclosure. I am a casual friend of the CEO of one of the major subscription music service companies. (It's not Pandora, but they're in the same boat as Pandora.) It's possible that my sympathies (and judgement) are colored by that relationship.
Wow, real interesting.
"AM/FM do not pay anything" (sic), so why is Pandora a bad guy for wanting to pay less than they currently do? Methods aside, radio, be it broadcast or internet, has always been more of a promotional tool for bands than a money maker. I'm surprised internet radio has a different arrangement than broadcast radio.

Not sure there IS a downside for the bands, especially if it is only a few thousand dollars a year to them. Does a band making millions on tour really notice that their radio royalty went from about $400 a month to something less? Seems like they should be considering this as an advertising expense anyway.