Pandora says they’re merely angling to get the same rate as their competitor, iHeartRadio, who pays lower royalties because its parent is a broadcast radio conglomerate. Then again, if Pandora is such a friend to musicians and songwriters, why are they always trying to pay them less?
Which brings us to this: almost immediately after Pandora disclosed its purchase of a small radio station in South Dakota to achieve lower royalties, major songwriter associations started declaring war back. “This is yet another sad step in Pandora’s war against songwriters,” National Music Publishers’ Association president David Israelite told Digital Music News. “While other digital music partners choose to enter into voluntary licensing deals, Pandora chooses to try to enrich itself through a strategy of suing creators and gimmicks.”
“The only positive development from this is that Pandora has removed any shred of credibility it had with creators and now can be seen for what it is — a company with no interest in treating songwriters fairly.”
ASCAP, currently getting sued by Pandora, noted that AM/FM radio stations get a different rate for a reason. Here’s a complete statement on the matter from ASCAP president and chairman Paul Williams. ASCAP is a massive publishing and songwriter collection society.