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Guest Post: ASCAP and the Great Pandora Battle, by Monica Conlon

May 19, 2014 1 comment

[Editor Charlie sez: This is a guest post by Monica Conlon.  Follow her @momusing.  Used by permission, copyright held by the author, any reproductions require the author’s consent.  Monica is Senior Executive Vice President of Creative Affairs and Licensing at Next Decade Entertainment, Inc., an independent music publishing company which she has been privileged to work at since 1991. Her responsibilities include signing new writers, negotiating, drafting and licensing all works published and administered by the company as well as overseeing the distribution of royalties. Some of Next Decade’s clients include Harry Belafonte, the Pure Songs catalog (the band Boston), Gaucho/Sandbox Music (70s R&B catalog with lots of samples in rap and hip/hop), trance/dance writer Jan Johnston (hits with Paul Oakenfold, Tiesto, Paul van Dyk), Bob McGrath (from Sesame Street), Lucy and Carly Simon, Martha Redbone and Aaron Whitby (Martha Redbone Roots Project, THE GARDEN OF LOVE – SONGS OF WILLIAM BLAKE), Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich (lyricist/composer of the Broadway bound musical EVER AFTER and the musicals DEAR EDWINA and THE GREAT AMERICAN MOUSICAL) and Vic Mizzy (“Addams Family Theme” and “Green Acres Theme”). She has been a guest lecturer for the Copyright Society, the NMPA/HFA, the Hartt School of Music, the International Intellectual Property Conference at Fordham Law School and the Cutting Edge Music Conference.]

I spent many hours fielding questions and having conversations with songwriters about the recent win by Pandora in the ASCAP rate court. Mostly, the songwriters wondered why there was a battle in the first place and why ASCAP lost. Performance rights licensing (the right to publicly play/perform a song on the radio, television, the Internet, large venues etc.) is one of those areas that songwriters love, but often know little about. They love that the check comes in the mail on a quarterly basis like a miraculous gift and some even call it “mailbox royalties.” They rely on this money heavily even though many would not be able to describe how it is generated or what the rules are in governing the two major Performance Rights Organizations (PROs), ASCAP and BMI.

The Pandora battle revolves around this governing issue. ASCAP and BMI are membership associations which each represent over a half a million songwriters and music publishers in the field of performance rights licensing. ASCAP and BMI each function under consent decrees entered into with the U.S. Justice Department. The current consent decrees require that ASCAP and BMI must grant a license to any potential company or service that wants one. They do not have the right to say “no” to any potential licensee.

If, after they negotiate with any licensee — in this case, Pandora — and the licensee does not like the rates proposed by ASCAP or BMI, the licensee or the PRO has the right to go to federal court in New York to set the rate. This is exactly the tack that Pandora took and what has led us to this current situation. In court proceedings, it is the PRO’s burden to demonstrate that its proposed rate is “reasonable,” but the consent decrees provide no standards for determining “reasonableness.” The ASCAP Rate Court, through Judge Cote, has been consistently ruling against ASCAP since she began her tenure as the sole judge responsible for setting ASCAP license fees in 2009, rejecting the comparable licenses ASCAP has proffered as benchmarks for gauging the reasonableness of its fee proposals and accepting instead the licenses relied upon by Pandora and other ASCAP licensees.

What is particularly upsetting about all of this is the monetary facts revolving around Pandora. The license that Pandora has been functioning under since it entered into its original agreement in 2005 with ASCAP was at a rate of 1.85% of Annual Revenue, with the combined rate for all of the PROs totaling 4.3% of Annual Revenue. This is slightly more than traditional radio broadcasters pay for their ASCAP licenses, and commensurate with what other streaming services had been paying. However, services like Spotify and the new iTunes Radio pay significantly higher rates, ranging as high as a combined 10% of Annual Revenue. Further, the rate that Pandora pays the record labels for the master rights (the artists recording of a particular song) is in the range of 50% of Annual Revenue. Yes, you read that right….the songwriters have been fighting Pandora for them to pay 4.3% of Annual Revenue when Pandora pays the record labels 50% of Annual Revenue for the use of the master recordings of those same songs.

When Pandora complains that they are paying too much in royalties, which is their constant battle cry, the problem is they are paying a huge rate to the record labels. However, they have no recourse or leverage to reduce the rate they pay to the record labels because the labels function independently and their rates for services like Pandora have been determined by another governmental entity, the Copyright Royalty Board. The only royalties that Pandora has access and leverage to reduce are the songwriter royalties because of the way the consent decrees function.

The court costs that ASCAP has paid in fighting Pandora over their streaming rate come somewhere in the range of $5 to $9 million. Pandora likely has paid equivalent legal costs in their battle. Imagine if Pandora hadn’t gone to court over the combined PRO rate of 4.3% and had put that money — at the low end, say $5 million — into paying music publishers and songwriters a fair rate, the rate other streaming services are paying. Maybe then, Tim Westergren, Pandora’s CEO, who loves telling the press how much he adores musicians and songwriters, could honestly say that he is helping them with his streaming music service rather than what he has truly done, which is to almost single handedly upend the entire structure of the performance rights licensing system.

How did Westergren affect the performance rights licensing structure? The music publishers disagree with Judge Cote’s rate of 1.85% of Annual Revenue. In fact, the music publishers thought the combined PRO rate of 4.3% was also too low. The only way to get a higher rate is to pull the digital rights licensing away from the PROs’ control and make direct deals with digital services. This would allow the music publishers not to be governed by the consent decree in matters dealing with digital performance rights licensing. Some of the major music publishers and independent music publishers were in this process of pulling their digital rights with the PROs and EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Universal Music Publishing even negotiated direct deals with Pandora as they were the first music publishers to pull their digital rights licensing from the PROs. There had been a six month waiting period before any publisher could pull digital rights from ASCAP or BMI.

This process was moving forward for many publishers and then Pandora went to the ASCAP and BMI rate courts, asking those courts to rule that the publishers’ rights withdrawals did not apply to digital services like Pandora that had applied for licenses under the consent decrees. Both rate court judges ruled that the music publishers could not pull just one set of licensing rights (e.g., digital rights) from either ASCAP or BMI. The judges said if the music publishers wanted to license directly, they would have to pull all performance rights licensing from the PROs. No music publisher wants to do that.

Now, the PROs, the music publishers and others are asking the Department of Justice to agree to change the consent decrees so that it is clear that digital rights licensing can be pulled from the PROs. This will mean all digital companies, including Pandora when its current license is up in 2015, will have to negotiate with multiple music publishing companies either to get their services up and running, or to continue to offer their digital music services, because they won’t be able to clear digital performing rights at the PROs alone if the music publishers withdraw their digital rights. It will add a whole new level of rights clearance issues and liability to the process because the lawyers for these new digital companies will have to engage in these direct deals and ensure that they are covered for all of the music repertoire in their client’s digital services.

Before this rate battle began between ASCAP and Pandora, there was no question that all of the music publishers were being represented by the PROs for digital rights licensing.

The future seems precarious to the music publishing/songwriter community. The BMI rate court has yet to take up the Pandora royalty rate issue. If the PROs and the music publishers are successful in modifying the consent decrees, they will have a business solution for getting a higher rate, but it really isn’t a solution for the health and development of building new digital music companies and services. I firmly believe none of this would be happening if Pandora had been a good player with ASCAP. They created this situation and then Judge Cote complemented their bad moves with a totally unworkable decision.

I was at a publisher meeting recently, and the presenter gave some startling figures. He said that last year, Tim Westergren took out over $15 million dollars in stock options for Pandora (the highest amount he could extract in any given year). At the same time, Pandora paid ASCAP a little over $11 million in royalties for access to the entire ASCAP repertoire for the entire year. If this is true, or even slightly exaggerated then how does the guy who owns Pandora receive millions of dollars more in money in one year than all of the ASCAP songwriters and music publishers whose music was featured on his service in that very same year? When you look at it from this perspective, you can understand why there is such an outcry from the songwriter/music publishing community.

The music publishers and the PROs want a workable solution with Pandora and all the digital companies, but they cannot sit idly by and not receive a fair market value for their songwriter’s works in the digital arena. It’s a wild west in licensing right now, what I find so sad is…. it didn’t have to be.

Pandora and Sirius Side by Side And Does Sirius Mislead Consumers?

May 5, 2014 Comments off

Expect income inequality to be a major theme in this fall’s elections, and fairness begins at home.

We’ve posted about Pandora’s executive compensation before and certainly “Million a Month” Tim Westergren has become something of a poster child for Pandora’s problems due to his stock sales.

westergren 5-5-14

It’s important to know that the term “executive compensation” as used by the investor watchdog companies like Morningstar includes both salary and stock compensation.  The real bang is usually in the stock–this is the upside for entrepreneurs.  No one should begrudge Westergren or the Pandora executive team the upside.  It is, after all, their company and they put it all together and took the company public.  Twice.

But the problem for Pandora is that their entire value is based on their ability to sell one product–music.  And they have made a science of wringing their hands to the US government to try to drive down the price they pay that is very much a part of their market valuation.  To drive the price down through lobbying and influence peddling.

And who can forget Paul Resnikoff’s interview with Pandora’s former CEO Joe Kennedy immediately following the catastrophic IRFA hearing when the Pandora CEO claimed not to know how much money he made?

In other words, Pandora want to force artists to license to them, they like that part.  But Pandora want to keep all the upside for themselves.  I have often said that what Pandora should do if they want lower royalty rates is put a big chunk of stock into an escrow account and liquidate that stock every two years.  Distribute the proceeds out to the artists like a “royalty dividend.”  That way if artists invest in Pandora by giving Pandora a discounted rate on royalties like is currently the case, the artists involved could recapture the upside of that investment as represented by the escrowed stock.

Otherwise, Pandora is looking for free money.  And since that royalty dividend idea was not only rejected but was met with a demand for even lower royalty rates with absolutely no upside for anyone but Pandora executives and shareholders–not to mention costly shenanigans for the rate courts’ latest feeble attempt at a command economy–we begin to get the picture.

And here it is.  CEO compensation up 3,882.3%:

Pandora Executive Comp

Sirius’s Misleading Advertising

The same Morningstar comparison for Sirius shows a very interesting result.  Remember, Pandora constantly complains that it is unfair that Sirius pays an arguably lower royalty rate for music than does Pandora (which is misleading, because Sirius is not a pure music play, had much greater startup costs, a few other reasons).

sirius exec comp

Interesting–the total executive comp for the covered executives is actually less than Pandora (by an amount close to what Pandora paid ASCAP songwriters)–even though Pandora pays (according to Pandora) a higher royalty and Sirius has to deal with paying non-compulsory rates for non-music channels.

And the compensation to Sirius’s CEO was up a mere 596.21% year over year.  Compare Sirius:

sirius exec comp 2to Pandora:

Pandora Key Executive Comp CloseupBut yet each company wants to salt their earnings by stiffing pre-72 recording artists and their estates.  It’s hard to tell definitively, but each company appears to have decided to stop paying pre-72 artists at almost the exact same time.  No collusion there, though, surely.

How has each service communicated their desire to stiff artists to the user base?  I haven’t been able to find anything from Pandora to their users. But I did find this about Sirius.

Sirius has a special part of their website advertising dealing with music rates.  The company charges consumers separately for music, probably so that users see the cost to Sirius of the music the users enjoy.  Sirius no doubt would like consumers to think that this is a lot of money for music–it’s actually much more believable that the users will reach the opposite conclusion.

Remember–Sirius stopped paying on pre-72 recordings around December 2013.  Here’s their marketing collateral effective January 2014:

sirius music fee 1

The language in paragraph 1 used to read like this:

sirius music fee old 1

The music fee used to say this:

sirius music fee old 2But now says this:

sirius music fee 2

So even though Sirius stopped paying on pre-72 recordings and decreased their music royalty payout, they still increased the music fee charged to their users (that ostensibly is charged to offset royalty costs).  And for all the waffling around about what they pay on, Sirius never acknowledges to their consumers that they are in fact not paying pre-72 artists because they decided to stop paying.  And they clearly did not pass the savings on to the consumer.

This sure smells a lot like false advertising to me.

If You Put Your P&L On the Table, Expect Scrutiny

Some people will say that artists don’t have a right to a share of stock in these companies and don’t have a right to criticize their operators or operating costs.

Wrong–the only compensation artists get is their royalty which is a reflection of the upside (or it should be).  Both Sirius and Pandora deny artists that upside.  When companies both deny artists the benefit of their bargain through lobbying paid for by the very upside the artists are denied, reward themselves richly and mislead consumers….don’t be surprised if people get angry.

And remember–Pandora was the one that complained of low profits.  So maybe we can help them man up and cut some costs before we hand over even more of our royalty.

The MTP Interview: Blake Morgan of ECR Music Group on the #irespectmusic campaign

March 31, 2014 1 comment

IRM blake

 

Chris Castle interviews Blake Morgan, head of ECR Music Group and the force behind the #irespectmusic campaign on Pandora, IRFA and the campaign for artist pay for radio play.

Theme music by Guy Forsyth.

You can also subscribe to the Music Tech Policy podcast on iTunes.

 

More on Pandora’s Bait and Switch Campaign

June 12, 2013 Comments off

MTP readers will remember the short lived legislation to lower artist royalties that Pandora backed last year.  That was called the “Internet Radio Fairness Act” and it never came to a vote.  The House IP Subcommittee  held a hearing at which, I think it is fair to say, Pandora lost and lost big.

We Will Not Be Moved

This was in no small part to two things:  Artists came together: 125 artists came together to sign an open letter to Congress that supported digital music but rejected Pandora’s lust for profits.

Songwriters also came together and a group of them performed at the House offices to demonstrate how the songwriter royalties that Pandora pays are grotesquely out of whack.  (Right after Pandora, Clear Channel and Google joined together to use their lobbying clout on that legislation, Pandora also sued songwriters to get a lower royalty for them.)

The other event was that independent artist David Lowery of Cracker and Camper van Beethoven challenged Senator Ron Wyden at the Future of Music Policy Summit about the Pandora legislation–and Wyden really didn’t have much of a response.

In short–the artists locked arms and said we will not be moved.

Pandora’s Bait and Switch Campaign:  Pandora Wants to Cut Royalty Payments But Nancy Tarr Doesn’t Tell You That

Pandora got the message–they are now trying to drive a wedge between the stars who are having what passes for hits these days, and the independent artists who aspire to have hits or to at least make a living.  How are they doing this?  By dangling the bait of “promotion” in front of artists who yearn to break in.

Here’s how it starts.  An independent artist will receive this email from Nancy Tarr at Pandora (who lists herself as a “grassroots” consultant to one of the biggest spin factories in DC):

Dear <firstname><lastname> I hope you don’t mind this unsolicited email. I’m reaching out to introduce myself and to start a conversation with you about your music on Pandora and about some broader policy issues.

Tomorrow–Baiting and Switching

Don’t Get IRFA’d: Westergren’s Fake “Tour Support”

January 15, 2013 Comments off

Not surprisingly, Tim Westergren is rallying the troops at the Consumer Electronics Show–the locus of those just like him who want to enrich themselves from commoditizing music.   Remember, Westergren is the founder and public face of Pandora–and has been cashing in to the tune of $1,000,000 a month as he sells off his founders stock in the public markets.

So now the LA Times is reporting that Westergren is offering the Web 2.0 version of “tour support”:

[Westergren] talked about Internet radio as a means to generate income for performing artists (who don’t get paid at all by over-the-air stations) and insights. In particular, he touted Pandora’s ability to help artists figure out where to tour and promote their live shows to a receptive audience.

The key, Westergren said, is in the feedback Pandora users give on songs. The site allows listeners to give a thumbs up to songs they’d like to hear more frequently in their personalized radio feeds, and a thumbs down to those they don’t. This feedback can help identify the people most interested in going to an artist’s concert.

Westergren said he could see [someday] allowing artists to log into Pandora to see a heat map of the thumbs up ratings, showing the areas where they had the largest number of potential fans (but not their identities). Artists could also enter their tour information into the site, and Pandora could send alerts to listeners who’d given those bands’ songs a thumbs up — along with the option to buy tickets with one click.

This is, of course, a watered down and Web 2.0 version of the idea that Zoë Keating came up with for online services to share data with artists.  Except that it keeps Pandora in the middle instead of empowering the artist by putting the artist in direct communication with the artist’s fans–the people who make Pandora valuable, remember them?

So when did this epiphany strike Westergren like Paul on the road to Damascus?  Pandora has had this information locked up from the time that the thumbs were a great fiery ball, right?  Why is he bringing it up now, and bringing it up to a room full of people who don’t know a trap case from a full rachet?

Does Pandora plan on charging for this “service”?  Whether they do or don’t, why don’t they offer the fan the ability to sign up for the artist’s own email list?  Take Pandora out of the middle?  Because while these Big Tech companies will wave their arms about user privacy, notice what happens?  Pandora attracts the fan to Pandora because they play the artist’s music, but Pandora controls the communication with the fan and “owns the consumer.”  Where do privacy concerns stop and commercial concerns start?  No right thinking artist wants to spam fans, but shouldn’t the fan be given the choice of whether they want to sign up?  And make it easy for the fan to do so?  You know, give the fan the opportunity when and where they want it?

And by the way–whatever you call this Pandora “service”, don’t call it “tour support”.  Tour support has a very specific meaning–writing a check to finance a tour deficit.  A tour deficit means the shortfall in a tour’s costs in excess of the tour guarantees.

And who makes the tour guarantees?  A promoter or club owner.  And why does a promoter or club owner promise a guarantee?  Because a bunch of people that have IP addresses that come up in the promoter’s zip code show up on a heat map?  Because the artist got a thumbs up on Pandora?

Ahhh…no.  The market produces this information already–it’s called a price.  The price in this case is a reflection of the risk capital that a talent buyer is willing to bet on a show.  And whether the artist takes the price is a reflection of whether the economics of the tour make sense.  Such as routing.

If an artist has fans in markets with a bunch of Pandora users, then judging from who likes what is perhaps an interesting fact, but ultimately is not as meaningful as who will pay for what and in what sequence.  Because if there are promoters willing to pay for a show in LA, Peoria, Ft. Lauderdale and Nome, that’s a very expensive tour.  It’s even less of a tour if those are just fans showing up on a heat map.

There have been Internet dudes hawking these heat maps for 10 years.  They really don’t mean much.  And they mean even less if the artist can’t communicate with the fans directly.

And it’s nice that Pandora will be willing to sell fans a ticket to a show–but there’s no show to sell tickets to if there’s no promoter willing to get the band to the gig.

This is why you have deficit tour financing–so the artist can hop on a headliner’s tour as an opener and go to places where they have a hope of reaching an audience they can come back to on their own.  To fill in the gaps where a promoter is willing to have the artist play but not to pay for the privilege with the promoter’s risk capital.  If you don’t have a record company to pay that tour support, then the artist just has to suck it up out of their own pockets.  Which is why artists need to sell CDs to pay for touring and why most tours lose money.

Please, people, this is not that hard.

I’m glad for Tim that he’s getting rich, and I’m glad for Joe Kennedy he can pay himself a $700k salary.  But why don’t they actually listen to artists like Zoë Keating and cut out the mickey mouse.

Let the fan decide.

Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy Tells Paul Resnikoff He Doesn’t Know How Much Money He Makes from Pandora

December 1, 2012 5 comments

Must be nice to be able to forget your salary–Paul Resnikoff of Digital Music News gets the scoop:

So let’s help Joe refresh his recollection.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Joseph J. Kennedy, Pandora’s CEO, President and Board Chair Director) was recently granted Pandora stock options totaling 1.35 million shares at $10.63, or $14,350,500.  Kennedy’s salary is $732,000 according to Yahoo! Finance.

As far as I can tell, Tim Westergren’s current salary is undisclosed (although his 2004 employment agreement is available), but we know he’s been selling some stock.  $9,932,587 of stock so far to be precise.

Typically, we got a heap of sanctimony about struggling startups from former eMusic CEO and current Venrock VC David Pakman at the House IP Subcommittee hearing on Wednesday.  I have to believe that David probably didn’t know about the salary disparity at Pandora.  Some might praise Kennedy for holding off exercising his recent stock option grant, but with that eyepopping salary, it’s not like he’s bootstrapping.  And we don’t know what shares Kennedy sold either in the IPO or pre-IPO.  I can’t believe that the stock options Kennedy is sitting on is the only Pandora stock he’s ever had.

Paul Resnikoff’s reporting in Digital Music News turned up another nugget:

[Pandora] CTO Tom Conrad has taken a cool $13 million off the table, and the broader group of executives and investors have removed more than $70 million in cash in just over a year.  By comparison, there’s almost no stock purchasing by this group: since going public, records show buys of just over $1 million.

So this points out one of the problems for Pandora–executive compensation.  How is it that a company that makes no profit can afford to pay these astronomical salaries?  If the company capped all the executive salaries at $150,000 a year, they’d probably be profitable.  And frankly, given the large stock awards for this crew, you would think that their board would demand it.

Remember–Steve Jobs took a $1 salary.

But then Joe Kennedy’s stock is worth about $3 million less than it was when he started these IRFA shenanegans.  All Pandora employees must be really grateful for how he’s handling the stock price.

UPDATE: Research has turned up an “investor offer” to purchase shares of Pandora stock from insiders pre-IPO.  What this means in English is that when Pandora was still a private company (before their IPO) the venture capital firms that had already invested in Pandora increased their holdings of Pandora stock by purchasing vested shares of common stock from the top executives of the company.  This is a little perk that is frequently extended by venture firms to the top executives in a company that the VCs have already invested in that is likely to go public.  It let’s the executives “get a little liquidity”.  Doesn’t that just sound groovy?

So in the case of Pandora, this happened in August of 2010–you know, when the “royalty crisis was over.”

Here’s the page (p. 113-114) from Amendment Number 6 to Pandora’s S-1 (the form you have to file with the SEC when a company “goes public” or registers it shares in an underwritten public offering of the company’s stock).

Pandora insider shares

So what this means is that even though Joe Kennedy hasn’t exercised any of his newly minted stock options, he did “get a little liquid” to the tune of $2,515,979 back in the pre-IPO days of Pandora.

Oh, and so did Tim Westergren, he got $2,157,375.

Now–I don’t begrudge these guys their millions, I really don’t.  But don’t come crying to the artists and songwriters and tell them how you just can’t survive when you’re playing Silicon Valley money games under the table.

Creators would like a little liquidity, too.

PS If you want to voice your opinion on IRFA, Senator Ron Wyden has a comment page on his Senate website click here.

The Artists, United, Can Never Be Defeated

November 29, 2012 Comments off

Yesterday on Capitol Hill did not quite go the way that the Internet Radio Fairness Coalition had in mind.  At all.  More about that will be written.  Mr. Chaffetz–more about him later, too–had asked Mr. Goodlatte for a hearing on the so-called Internet Radio Fairness Act, and a hearing he got.  I would say mostly a “listening” but that’s good, too.  The hearing was scheduled for 11:30 am and in a brilliant move, David Israelite of the NMPA scheduled a performance by five of our community’s top songwriters in an adjacent meeting room just prior to the IRFA hearing.

The writers were Lee Miller performing his song “You’re Gonna Miss This” (as recorded by Trace Adkins), Kara DioGuardi performing “Sober” (as recorded by Pink), BC Jean performing “If I Were a Boy” (as recorded by Beyoncé), Desmond Child performing his song “Livin’ on a Prayer” (as recorded by Bon Jovi), and Linda Perry performing her song “Beautiful” (as recorded by Christina Aguilera).

Of course there was a masterful political element to the timing and messaging of these songwriters, but first think about this–these writers performed their songs with a single instrument accompanying them.  Just one instrument and the voice, about the simplest instrumentation you can have.

And of course–the song.  These songwriters reminded the audience comprised of Members and staffers of the importance of the songwriter, and they did it by letting the songs speak for themselves.  By performing these songs–not with the vast instrumentation and production values of the recordings that interpreted the songs, they really and truly demonstrated conclusively that which every record company executive knows that is not a hype, not a self interested spin–it really and truly does all start with the song.

The combined Pandora earnings for these songwriters in the first quarter of this year was $587.39.  For over 33 million spins.

And Tim Westergren wants to pay them less.

It’s too bad that Tim wasn’t there for the sing along that Desmond Child led on the chorus of Living on a Prayer.  Since he used to play in a band and all, you would have thought that Tim would naturally gravitate to hanging out with his own kind.

I guess Tim was too busy to show up for a reminder of the investment that these writers are making in his company by giving him a break on royalty rates that all songwriters richly deserve.

When Pandora, and the NAB, and David Pakman and Google complain about royalty rates, remember that’s just about greed.  By handling themselves the way they have, all these people have demonstrated once and for all that they just don’t get it.

That’s OK, they are not our friends.  We don’t have to be friends with everyone we do business with.

But here’s the real deal: Without great songs there are no great records and without great records there is no Pandora.

And that’s the fact.

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