Pandora Not Long for this World?

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By Jimmy Rogers
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

For years I’ve been an off and on user of Pandora.  The “on” times are because Pandora is a very impressive music delivery system that just about reads your mind.  The “off” times are because I’m not really much for radio.  All of this may be moot, though, as Pandora looks to be in serious trouble.

That trouble first began when the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) decided to change the way internet radio royalties work back in April.  The change can be basically summed up as “it costs more money” and as Pandora is a free service, that is a serious problem.  Pandora is reportedly leaking money and their founder, Tim Westergren, has characterized their present circumstances as a “pull-the-plug” situation.

This news is a terrible blow to Pandora fans everywhere.  It provides a fantastic service, a great opportunity for new artists to be discovered, and is quite a work of technological engineering to boot.  The bookstore near my college campus even uses it as their in-store radio.

One would think that Pandora would find some way to successfully monetize their service.  Their App on the iPhone is one of the most popular in the App Store.  They have over a million users.  Shouldn’t that enormous user base spell some kind of revenue?  I guess not…

[ReadWriteWeb via Gizmodo]





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26 Responses to Pandora Not Long for this World?

  1. every time i used pandora it was way off. In recent times, it would be almost as though the record industry was trying to get me to buy random crap

  2. every time i used pandora it was way off. In recent times, it would be almost as though the record industry was trying to get me to buy random crap

  3. Pandora is a great service and I've found many a new band with their Music Genome expertise. It will be a sad day when they are forced to close only because of the lack of political clout web radio broadcasters have compared to the larger traditional radio syndicates.

  4. Pandora is a great service and I’ve found many a new band with their Music Genome expertise. It will be a sad day when they are forced to close only because of the lack of political clout web radio broadcasters have compared to the larger traditional radio syndicates.

  5. It seems that pandora is for US only traffic now.. :(

    From the site:

    Dear Pandora Visitor,

    We are deeply, deeply sorry to say that due to licensing constraints, we can no longer allow access to Pandora for listeners located outside of the U.S. We will continue to work diligently to realize the vision of a truly global Pandora, but for the time being we are required to restrict its use. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative.

  6. It seems that pandora is for US only traffic now.. :(

    From the site:

    Dear Pandora Visitor,

    We are deeply, deeply sorry to say that due to licensing constraints, we can no longer allow access to Pandora for listeners located outside of the U.S. We will continue to work diligently to realize the vision of a truly global Pandora, but for the time being we are required to restrict its use. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative.

  7. I would rather see an ad ridden Pandora than no Pandora at all. It will be a sad day when/if they have to shut their doors.

  8. It's closed for foreign visitors for quite a while now. Looks like they never managed to get licenses for the rest of the globe.

  9. It’s closed for foreign visitors for quite a while now. Looks like they never managed to get licenses for the rest of the globe.

  10. I love Pandora and listen to it every day. Artists will only be hurt by shutting it down, especially lesser-known artists.

  11. Hi Jimmy – why don't you try nutsie.com? I run the engineering team there, and we think in many ways we've built something way cooler than Pandora.

    -Bob

  12. Hi Jimmy – why don’t you try nutsie.com? I run the engineering team there, and we think in many ways we’ve built something way cooler than Pandora.

    -Bob

  13. I hate to put down down a friendly dev…but I don't see very much to compare between Pandora and Nutsie…other than they play music and it can be mobile. In fact, Pandora was really created to break the mold of having to own all the music you like.

    Also…I've got an iPhone so I carry all my music with me (and if I didn't, I'd use Simplify Media, sorry) and I don't really want to share my stuff….

    • Thanks for at least a kind putdown… :-)

      On nuTsie you can listen to anyone's itunes lists on the site, but also check out the recommendation slider on the players. If you slide it all the way to the right you get 100% recommended music – kind of like Pandora except if you've uploaded your playlists we start with a much better set of music to create recommendations. With Pandora you have to train it one song at a time.

      Also, if you login and use the "grab it" button (kind of like thumbs up in Pandora) you get to build an "all favorites" playlist while you listen. Why don't you give it a second go?

      BTW, great blog, I've been a regular reader for a while.

      -Bob the Friendly Dev

      • alrighty, I see your connection now…i like the slider option…

        thanks for your readership…i'm a relatively new writer to this little bit of the web, so Mark and Yan are probably the ones you love the most…

        • We pay the same statutory royalties as Pandora,

          you are correct.

          However, our primary business model is selling the mobile client – $4/mo or $19.95/device-lifetime. We don't depend on ad revenue on the web the way Pandora does. With web-based revenue they have to generate huge volumes of traffic (which they do) and get paid relatively little per page view/song play.

          Consequently the hike in rates doesn't affect us the same way. Another way to look at it is Pandora makes a very small amount of money per song play – we make much more so we can absorb the rate hike easily.

          The new rate hikes do make ad-based music streaming really hard to make work (as Pandora is discovering).

          It's a shame to see the music industry trying to kill off another potential revenue source for their business in this way.

          -Bob

  14. I hate to put down down a friendly dev…but I don’t see very much to compare between Pandora and Nutsie…other than they play music and it can be mobile. In fact, Pandora was really created to break the mold of having to own all the music you like.

    Also…I’ve got an iPhone so I carry all my music with me (and if I didn’t, I’d use Simplify Media, sorry) and I don’t really want to share my stuff….

    • Thanks for at least a kind putdown… :-)

      On nuTsie you can listen to anyone’s itunes lists on the site, but also check out the recommendation slider on the players. If you slide it all the way to the right you get 100% recommended music – kind of like Pandora except if you’ve uploaded your playlists we start with a much better set of music to create recommendations. With Pandora you have to train it one song at a time.

      Also, if you login and use the “grab it” button (kind of like thumbs up in Pandora) you get to build an “all favorites” playlist while you listen. Why don’t you give it a second go?

      BTW, great blog, I’ve been a regular reader for a while.

      -Bob the Friendly Dev

      • alrighty, I see your connection now…i like the slider option…

        thanks for your readership…i’m a relatively new writer to this little bit of the web, so Mark and Yan are probably the ones you love the most…

        • We pay the same statutory royalties as Pandora,
          you are correct.

          However, our primary business model is selling the mobile client – $4/mo or $19.95/device-lifetime. We don’t depend on ad revenue on the web the way Pandora does. With web-based revenue they have to generate huge volumes of traffic (which they do) and get paid relatively little per page view/song play.

          Consequently the hike in rates doesn’t affect us the same way. Another way to look at it is Pandora makes a very small amount of money per song play – we make much more so we can absorb the rate hike easily.

          The new rate hikes do make ad-based music streaming really hard to make work (as Pandora is discovering).
          It’s a shame to see the music industry trying to kill off another potential revenue source for their business in this way.

          -Bob