Pandora and the music industry have long been engaged in a spat over what kind of rates the Internet radio service should be paying out. In a recent ruling, Judge Cote ordered Pandora to pay ASCAP, a performance rights organization, 1.85-percent of its annual revenue, something that has the industry up in arms.
Pandora can chalk this one up as a legal victory, having contended it should be between 1.7- to 1.85-percent, ultimately being pegged at the highest rate it entertained. The ASCAP is not satisfied with this, however, saying the Internet radio service should be paying 3-percent this year and next.
Said Sony and ATV Music CEO Martin Bandier on the ruling, “This rate is a clear defeat for songwriters. This rate is woefully inadequate and further emphasizes of the need for reform in the rate court proceedings. Songwriters can’t live in a world where streaming services only pay 1.85% of their revenue. This is a loss, and not something we can live with.”
Last summer, artists took issue with the payments they received from Pandora, one Ellen Shipley having stated she received $39 for a song payed 3.1 million times, followed by a claim from David Lowery that a song played 1 million times earned him a bit under $17. Pandora had responded to these and other claims with a lengthy discussion on how much it pays out and the industry as a whole.