back to article Pandora prepares to join club

This weekend saw a cry for help from personalised web radio outfit Pandora. It blubbed that music industry royalties are too high for it to survive on meagre web 2.0 advertising revenues. In a Washington Post confessional, the firm's founder and CEO Tim Westergren said: "We're approaching a pull-the-plug kind of decision. This …


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  1. Jerome
    Paris Hilton

    How much did pay you for the mention then? Paris, for obvious reasons (although she barely has any... or, er, so I've heard).

  2. Rich Harding
    Thumb Down

    Record Companies Really Are Fuckwits

    Heaven only knows how much money I've spent on bands many of whom I'd never even heard of before Pandora served them up to me (using seemingly far better "suggestion" criteria than which as useful as it is, largely stays within far too narrow, artificial genres for those with a more sophisticated complex of musical tastes).

  3. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)


    Yes, it's the longest running payola deal on the web.

    - Chris

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Have you been to NSFW ...

    well not from the initial landing page.

    Paris cuz I expect to find pictures of said lady on that site.

  5. James Bassett


    That's a real shame. I enjoyed using Pandora whilst it was available in the UK. Although I do now use, I much preferred Pandora and I, too, purchased quite a lot of music from bands I had never heard of thanks to recommendations from Pandora.

    Of course, the record industry is probably more interested in making sure people buy "Ooh Oooh baby yeah" by "Banal and the generics" after they've invested their thousands in the focus groups and image-creation companies. Does it really matter if a handful of people are exposed to some creative independants and make a £5 investment in a CD?

  6. Andy Senyszyn
    Paris Hilton

    @Richard Harding

    ...lamentably my friend, those with a more 'sophisticated complex of musical tastes' aren't usually those who'll spend £50 a month on ring tones, buy the cr@p that the ads on MTV peddles and other such nonsense...

    ...quite often, the niche just isn't profitable. Tragic but true...

    I miss Pandora - it was cool. *sob*

    My first Paris because, like Pandora's, I wouldn't mind opening her box.


  7. Jason Harvey


    funny how they want higher royalty rates to "generate more revenue for the artists" and yet they run the revenue stream out of business and end up with no revenue. Not exactly a sustainable business model.

  8. The Avangelist

    last of the fm

    Perhaps if they had paid closer attention to which has snuck under the radar for the last few years they would have seen where they were going wrong and could have been a contender.

    Alas, it has been cack for sometime and I have used since the beginning of 2006 and bought thousands of pounds worth music off the back of it. So there is a business model as long as you have a clear defined goal.

    i,e Total domination!

  9. omg


    It's a real shame they couldn't keep it going. Pandora was by far the best music-finding service around.

    Lastfm seems to exist purely by polluting Google searches with links to content-free pages with no music or information what-so-ever.

    And while Myspace may occasionally have music hidden amongst its hideously designed pages, I've no intention of subjecting my eyes or my browser to that kind of abuse.

    Oh well, back to p2p I guess.

  10. PushF12
    Dead Vulture

    Please let me pay for Pandora, please.

    Pandora may need to become a boutique service to remain in business. I hope that they just let me pay for what I use, even beyond the regular subscription.

  11. David Hicks

    I still listen to Pandora

    That's one of the benefits of having tunnels going all over the world.

    It'll be a shame to see it go, I've found a lot of great, obscure stuff through them.

  12. Chris Bidmead

    Pandora in the UK -- not a problem.

    Just VPN via the US. Eg:



  13. Mark
    Dead Vulture

    @Jason Harvey

    Realize that Pandora plays *way too much* non-RIAA music due to the superior recommendations mechanism - this is music that was produced independently, and although the soundexchange mechanism screws the indies very neatly, letting the independents suffocate in this "brave new world" where music has no intrinsic value whatsoever is a better solution overall.

    Why would the RIAA want to support the independent market?

    What would the point be?

    I believe that they will change their tune a bit once the vast majority of the independent music market has withered away, along with however many more misdirected "Web 2.0" music-based startups, but not that much.

    The long-term solution for the RIAA will be to fire all A/Rs, eliminate all artists from their rosters and shut down any studios/production facilities that they maintain and move into a pure royalty-collection and music licensing, and to sell the music to whoever can afford to pay for it, regardless of what that means to the bands or the fans.

    Personally, I'm not looking forward to seeing sides 3,4, 5 and 6 of every hit album from the last few decades come out digitally as they scrape their catalog, but that's probably the best we can hope for. Certainly we are well beyond the point that being successful on an indie label is any guarantee of becoming rich as a majpr label signee. The smartest move that the RIAA can make moving forward is to avoid wasting money on developing new artists, and if those who would, i.e., the indie labels, are dying on the vine, all the better.

  14. Michael

    A necessary evil...

    Pandora's biggest flaw is that they try to support themselves by serving visual ads on an auditory service. I'm not looking at Pandora while it's going, so the ad is pointless, doesn't generate clicks, and hence, doesn't fetch a big price from the advertiser.

    I hate to say it, but Pandora should intersperse audio ads with the music. As much as I love the commercial free "radio", I'd much rather have commercials every three songs than lose the service entirely.

    I would, of course, prefer the RIAA et al pull their heads out of their asses, but that's not likely to happen, so in the interest of keeping the service alive, gimme some audio ads, Tim!!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fifty quid a month on ringtones?!

    And I thought coke was a dangerous and expensive habit.

  16. Tris Hoar

    me too!

    pandora was great whilst it was available in the uk, and i still miss it. If they would go to subscription only and let any one use them then i'd happily sign up. keep it to the same basic format of limited skips, no repeats and be reasonable with the price and i would be very happy :)

    though the record company's letting a good service keep going is limited at best. and if they do they will most likely decide to "make it awesome!"(tm) and fuck it over :/


  17. J

    @Jim de Bosta

    Hey, that is a badly faked try at "Flame-o'-the-Week". You overdid it, sir. Even your screen name is in all-caps, ffs... Shame.

  18. StarsAndStripesForever
    Black Helicopters

    To the RIAA


  19. Graham Lockley


    Ok, who hasnt QUITE got the hang of the keyboard on his shiny new j-Phone ?

    Fake FOTW's are better done on a proper keyboard, 9/10 for content, 3/10 for presentation...


  20. rick buck

    19/100ths of nothing is still nothing...

    100% - 19/100ths is still 81%...considering they're just a middleman...if they can not make it on 81% profit, before cost of running servers and a little programing, and paying those that provide the basis for the service realistic compensation (ie:>the cost of doing business), They Are Crap... and deserve to go tits up!!!

    Perhaps the top 5 execs could take a little less bonus, and salary, and give it a few years to get a real head on it before raping the socks off a decent service, to take their cut!!!

    ...Or perhaps they could just fire them and get some real Joes (that are used to real work, at a real wage, awaiting realistic rewards in a realistic time line) that are willing to allow a business to grow and want to have a service and career that lasts...instead of the " Want It NOW, Have To Have It Now" BloodSuckers that have become the Average Corporate Executive! (key word "EXECUTE")

    Ready, Aim, Fire!

  21. cp

    add commercials

    I agree, I would put up with audio commercials. How about this, the commercials could be occasional and genome based ensuring a perfectly targeted audience. Holly crap this is an immense idea. I JUST SAVED PANDORA!

  22. Lukin Brewer


    How they do rise up, all the Web 2.0 startups,

    Heads up! Heads up! All the Web 2.0 startups!


    How they do wind up, all the Web 2.0 startups,

    Tits up! Tits up! All the Web 2.0 startups!

  23. Steve Purdham

    It would be a great tragedy if we lost Pandora

    Pandora is a great service but shows the clear differential between the expected economics of the Music world and the real economics of the Advertising world. In the last 12 months the music world has become much more optimistic and open in accepting new models such as Pandora and We7, and as a result we are seeing increasing numbers of examples of new digital services expanding. Ad funded models are hailed as a significant revenue source to the industry and this can clearly be true but it does need further latitude by the industry on the long term rates at both a licensing and collection society level. This does not mean just accepting smaller payments it means working with companies such as Pandora and We7 to understand the true economics of what will make ad funded models pay and then allow them to scale. It is the scaling which will make the micropayment models work and show a very valuable and exciting ARPU (annual Revenue per user).

    Steve Purdham

    CEO - We7

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. Martin


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