Home > Uncategorized > @sydell Raises the Issue of Pandora and Payola Platform Parity

@sydell Raises the Issue of Pandora and Payola Platform Parity

December 2, 2014

The Trichordist

“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them.”

Leviticus 19:31

National Public Radio reporter Laura Sydell has raised a very interesting question about the “new boss” direct license agreements that Pandora is making with record companies: the return of payola (“Pandora’s New Deal: Different Pay, Different Play“).  She notes correctly that at least one direct license contains a “steering” clause that promotes airplay in consideration of a lower royalty payment.

It’s not too much of a stretch to think that the timing of Pandora’s desire to make these deals did not just happen by accident or through market forces.  Our bet is that Pandora makes these direct deals to manufacture evidence of “willing buyer willing seller” royalty rates for the rate setting proceeding currently underway before the Copyright Royalty Board in Washington, DC (“CRB”).

Ms. Sydell calls out a…

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