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This is a blog post I hoped I would never have to write.
As you probably know, in July of 2007 we had to block usage of Pandora outside the U.S. because of the lack of a viable license structure for internet radio streaming in other countries. It was a terrible day. We did however hold out some hope that a solution might exist for the UK, so we left it unblocked as we worked diligently with the rights organizations to negotiate an economically workable license fee. After over a year of trying, this has proved impossible. Both the PPL (which represents the major record labels and some independent record labels) and the MCPS/PRS Alliance (which represents music publishers) have demanded per track performance minima rates which are far too high to allow ad supported radio to operate and so, hugely disappointing and depressing to us as it is, we have to block the last territory outside of the US.
It continues to astound us that the industry is not working more constructively to support the growth of services that introduce listeners to new music, and that are totally supportive of paying fair royalties to the creators of music. I don’t often say such things, but the course being charted by the labels and publishers and their representative organizations is nothing short of disastrous for artists whom they purport to represent…


The only consequence of failing to support companies like Pandora that are attempting to build a sustainable radio business for the future will be the continued explosion of piracy, the continued constriction of opportunities for working musicians, and a worsening drought of new music for fans. As a former working musician myself, I find it very troubling.
We have been told to sign these totally unworkable license rates or switch off, non-negotiable…so that is what we are doing. Streaming illegally is just not in our DNA, and we have to take the threats of legal action seriously.
We know what an epicenter of musical creativity and fan support the UK has always been, which makes the prospect of not being able to launch there and having to block our first listeners all the more upsetting for us.
If you would like to be kept abreast of the situation, please drop us your email so we can stay in touch – there’s a simple way to do that on the home webpage you’re now presented with if you try to access Pandora from the UK. There may well come a day when we need to make a direct appeal for your support to move for governmental intervention as we have in the US. In the meantime we have no choice but to turn off service to the UK.
Since we emailed UK listeners last week to inform them of this impending change, we have been inundated with public and industry support. There have also been many questions – we’ll be very proactive in responding to any comments/questions that pop up on the blog here. There is a lot of confusion around this topic.
Pandora will stop streaming to the UK as of January 15th, 2008.
Again, on behalf of myself and everyone at Pandora, to any resident of Wales, Ireland, England and Scotland that reads this post, I’m very, very sorry.
Tim (Founder)

Comments

  1. Kris Silver
    February 05, 2008 at 1:30pm
    It is a great shame to see Pandora close to pretty much anywhere bar the US. I hope this can be resolved, a few queries: 1. There must be more people can do such as the kind of action in the US. That can be done here in the UK if its organized and promoted, why isn't it? There's a petition which is a start, which isn't mentioned or promoted hardly at all. 2. Why is it Last FM are managing to play full tracks on there site now to places like the UK, but Pandora is not. I'm sorry if I'm a little naive but it seems there must be a way for Pandora to somehow follow suite, at least to some extent?
  2. gay
    February 05, 2008 at 11:55pm
    This is rooted.
  3. David
    February 07, 2008 at 1:09pm
    @ Joy - I don't know how many different tracks Pandora plays ona daily basis. For each station that Pandora has it plays different tracks. I will stick with one station. One station would take seven weeks to play the 1000 songs (at 5 minutes each). Based on this Pandora would have to pay 1 GBP every seven weeks. This works out to ~7.43 GBP per year. Now multiply that by each station, If there are 1000 stations that equates to 7000 GBP every seven weeks and just over 52000 GBP per year. It gets worse as the stations increase, since they have to pay this fee every time they play a song. This means if they play song A at 1300 on station one, and again play song A at 1301 on station two, that is .007 GBP times two. This gets real expensive real quick. I don't know how lastfm is doing it. Perhaps they are not only charging for memberships, they are also selling advertisements, or even receiving subsidies from the music labels. No idea, only that they have worked out something that allows them to continue to stream music while Pandora couldn't afford it.
  4. lee
    February 10, 2008 at 8:29am
    how about some oldies please
  5. John H
    March 18, 2008 at 4:55pm
    Hi Tim - it's such a shame that your foresightedness isn't matched by the dinosuars that represent UK music publishing. It was such a joy to listen to Pandora and discover new music. In 2006-07 I bought more new CDs from more new artists than any years previously (I have over 2000 CDs in my collection). Since Pandora was blocked to the UK, discovering the new music that I like (and would buy) is now much harder. The Execs running the companies that represent the music industry should be ashamed of themselves - how can they justify to their artists and shareholders that keeping their published materialsa secret from the listening world is in their own commercial interests? Astounding! Maybe they'll just have to learn the hard way that you just can stop the tidal wave of technological change - the best way forward is to learn to ride the wave! Long after these backward looking publishers have gone bust, forward thinking new companies like Pandora will win the day. Best of Luck, John.
  6. Lana
    April 15, 2008 at 9:41pm
    Oh No! I'm sad to hear this has happened in the UK now, I rememember how sad I was when it happened to us in Australia last year. I still miss pandora, and also still keep checking for updates that maybe one day soon my radio stations will be back on the air... but now that seems further away than ever :(
  7. Rose A.Rodelo
    April 16, 2010 at 2:43am
    By now it is already April 16,2010. I would like to know what is the latest on this matter. My son is a songwriter and singer whom has wonderful material that is still"on hold" becuase of the greed in the Music industry. Beautiful music is a shame to remain: un-heard-of, globe-wide. Thank you for this new and fresh concept for all to enjoy their favorite music! Rose A. Rodelo
  8. mark day
    April 22, 2010 at 5:23am
    after reading the above after discovering PANDORA for the first time due to watching the apple ipad promotion advert , then a few days later hearing on the radio and tv here in the uk how so many of the uk music producers/companies and movies companies are in real bad trouble and cant help feeling this may have been something they have brought on themselves ,,examples are record to cd change back when cds came out ,,they had to as records were no longer available, for some reason the uk companies tend to get all defensive when you point out to them they haven't acted fast enough and are or will be left behind with the dinosaurs ,,,uk get a grip
  9. Anonymous Email
    March 20, 2011 at 11:55am
    Blocking Pandora is just the beginning. I am nearly we will see many future efforts at blocking other media sharing and file sharing programs...

Comments are closed.