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Tag: Pandora (1-3 of 3)

The great irony of Silicon Valley's curated-music craze

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The music industry has always chased trends, and as tech companies have started getting into the game, they’ve not only picked up the habit but taken it to an unimaginably expensive level—one that makes the most coke-fueled excesses of the Fleetwood Mac era look miserly in comparison. And right now, the market is going bananas for curation: After years of investing in algorithms that can figure out that someone who likes the Beatles would probably also be interested in Creedence Clearwater Revival, which has helped the online radio behemoth Pandora claim 250 million users, the tide has turned. “Curation” is now the buzzword du jour.

Yesterday, word got out that Google will be buying the playlist site Songza for a “substantially higher” amount than the $15 million it was previously rumored to have offered, according to a Billboard article. Songza offers users, in its own words, “Music Curated by Music Experts”—that is, playlists broken down not only by genre but by mood or compatibility with different activities, some of them as specific as “Lounging in a Cool Hotel” or “Hanging Out in the Man Cave.” The tech giant has plans to fold Songza and its team of 50 or so curators into the unwieldily named Google Play Music All Access, a subscription-based streaming platform it launched to compete against Spotify that hasn’t offered very serious competition so far.

Apple also recently acquired a curation service: the Beats Music platform, whose place in the $3 billion acquisition has been massively overshadowed by Beats’ much larger and more profitable hardware division. Now that Apple and Google have both bought their own curation services, other companies will most likely be scrambling to get their own. READ FULL STORY

Pink Floyd writes an open letter on streaming services titled 'Pandora's Internet radio royalty ripoff'

Pink Floyd are continuing their crusade against online music streaming. Band members Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason have published an op-ed in USA Today stating that Pandora’s music streaming service is ripping off the artist and musicians they claim to want to help. Pandora has been sending a letter to musicians, asking for their support.

“Of course, this letter doesn’t say anything about an 85% artist pay cut,” the band writes. “That would probably turn off most musicians who might consider signing on. All it says about royalties is “We are all fervent advocates for the fair treatment of artists.” And the only hint of Pandora’s real agenda is the innocent sounding line “We are also fervent supporters of internet radio and want more than anything for it to grow.” The petition doesn’t mention that Pandora is pushing the growth of its business directly at the expense of artists’ paychecks.”

The rockers feel the letter is vague and untruthful to artists who don’t understand the repercussions of the type of legislation Pandora is trying to get passed. The op-ed cites Pandora’s misleading claims that they pay too much in royalties to even make a profit.

“But a business that exists to deliver music can’t really complain that its biggest cost is music,” the piece continued. “You don’t hear grocery stores complain they have to pay for the food they sell. Netflix pays more for movies than Pandora pays for music, but they aren’t running to Congress for a bailout. Everyone deserves the right to be paid a fair market rate for their work, regardless of what their work entails.”

The members of Pink Floyd say they would be open to discussing a truly fair compromise between online radio services and artists.

Read more:
Pink Floyd wins court battle with label
Pink Floyd and Spotify: Let’s make a deal
Pink Floyd fans unlock full catalog on Spotify

Rihanna, Katy Perry, Billy Joel, and a hundred others going after Pandora in open letter

There aren’t a whole lot of things that could bind together artists as divergent as Rihanna, Journey, Brian Wilson, Camper Van Beethoven, Primus, Ludacris, and Amy Grant.

No, it’s not the weirdest Coachella lineup ever—instead, these artists (along with over a hundred more) have come together in the name of the one thing they can all agree on: They’d all like more money for their work.

Yesterday, an open letter signed by 125 musicians showed up online, asking streaming radio service Pandora why they are lobbying for a Congressional measure that would decrease the amount of royalties the company would have to pay out to artists for their songs.

“We are big fans of Pandora,” the letter reads. “That’s why we helped give the company a discount on rates for the past decade. Pandora is now enjoying phenomenal success as a Wall Street company. Skyrocketing growth in revenues and users. We celebrate that. At the same time, the music community is just now beginning to gain its footing in this new digital world.” READ FULL STORY

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