A lot of folks (yours-truly included) have been loving Pandora lately because they've been using the excellent native iPhone app (Read a Lightning Review of Pandora). With any luck, these folks could be mobilized to help Pandora out -- they're facing crippling and unfair royalty fees from SoundExchange. It's an issue that we reported on a bit last year over at our sister site, WMExperts. The gist is this: the RIAA and SoundExchange are looking to enforce new royalty rates for Internet Radio that are so high that it's fair to say they're meant not to pay artists, but to destroy a medium. This article on Pandora's plight over at the Washington Post [via] is a pretty good summary of the state of the Internet Radio fight, and here's a pretty good summary of the article:
"We're approaching a pull-the-plug kind of decision," said Tim Westergren, who founded Pandora. "This is like a last stand for webcasting." [...] Westergren, seemingly wearied by the constant haggling over the issue, signaled that Pandora's investors may also be impatient for an end. "We're funded by venture capital," he said. "They're not going to chase a company whose business model has been broken. So if it doesn't feel like its headed towards a solution, we're done."
Our take: the actions taken last year by SaveNetRadio.org and the huge masses they were able to mobilize managed to shine enough light on this issue to delay what looked like the impending death of Internet Radio. Now we're back for Internet Radio 2: The Revenge, and since Pandora's now on our iPhones, this time, it's personal.
Or better: We might be approaching Pandora's Last Stand, but let's make sure they don't stand alone.