Pandora does not have the best reputation with musicians. Remember when they petitioned Congress to pay musicians less royalties? However, at this year’s CES founder Tim Westergren is taking baby steps to try and change that reputation. What’s first? Tour support.
“…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.”
It seems the idea is that sometime in the future Pandora could provide a map showing where your music is enjoyed and streamed the most across the world, then the musician could plan tours and marketing around this data. Google Analytics for streaming perhaps? Our biggest problem with this is that there is no concrete evidence that they are actually working on this. Why was this not implemented years ago! We had Pandora streaming during the Bush administration and you are just thinking about something like this?
With cloud storage services, Spotify and Google Music taking over, we appreciate that Pandora is trying to get back into the good graces of musicians but they have a lot of work to do!
We have to admit a few years back Pandora was our go to streaming music choice. Some of us have been evangelists ever since. We loved the fact that we found a lot of great new artists and songs based on the crazy algorithm that determines what you may or may not like. Then, probably while listening to Pandora, they made some major news. And all they had to do was make the musicians who use and the support the service, very unhappy. According to an article in The Register:
The leading backer of a bill passing through US Congress that will slash musicians’ pay by 85 per cent, as well as effectively outlawing them from bargaining collectively with their paymasters, has been selling stock worth $1m in his own internet company every month.
If that’s not yucky enough for you, Hypebot announced Pandora is suing ASCAP for lower licensing fees on behalf of ASCAP songwriters. Execs cash in while suing songwriters is not going to win you any PR awards. What do you think about what Pandora is doing of late?
Has the music machine totally lost its backbone? Where have musicians similar to Jimi Hendrix and Louis Armstrong gone?! They’re around, but not noticed. The music charts have become muddled with mediocre, fly by night pop-one-hit-wonder-sensations. Uber producers like Dr. Luke and Tricky Stewart have been cranking out platinum hits- and so they should during this phase of the music zeitgeist. While most are content with this musical mold, what about the rest of us? What about the ones that want more? What about the ones that want to be inspired?
All right, I get it. I could turn on Pandora and get my fix of digital tunes. Call me nostalgic, but I want terrestrial radio to take a stand on its own. Big brother seems to be telling everyone in radio the same thing: “Play these 35 songs on repeat for the next 4 weeks. Maybe we’ll mix a new one in next month…”. When did we accept this? When did we all sit back and agree that this should be the new format? Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t get an invite to that meeting…must have lost it in the mail huh?
I realize that terrestrial radio plays what’s most popular…I get it. But lets have a station stand on its own two feet and play something out of the box. Music affects all of us one way or another. Undeniably. So why not rotate artists that a) force us to think outside the box; b) enable us to hear different stories and c) give us inspiration to say “yes” instead of “no”.
At the end of the day, I think its only fair to appreciate all genres of music. From pop to classical they each have their own intricacies and are legitimate in their own right. However, this doesn’t excuse the fact that terrestrial radio needs a serious overhaul with its programming. Until then, I’ll stick to my vinyl and Pandora mixes. -They inspire me.
Music students/lovers, listen up! The future of music and streaming go hand-in-hand, so if you want to get paid for your lovely music, you should be aware of something currently going on with Pandora. The “free” streaming music service acts as a radio station with you as the programmer declaring what you like and don’t like. Pandora has realized, however, with the high cost of music licensing and needing more and more bandwidth, that they would supplement the music with both visual advertisements and audio ads. Anyone else annoyed by some of those ads?
Have no fear, Pandora unveiled an ad-free listening subscription: just $3 a month.
As much as I love hearing the ending piano part of “Layla” segueing into a Living Social ad, segueing into “Stairway To Heaven” sounds just a little bit nicer. It sounds like we aren’t the only ones. Digital Music News says:
The past has been discouraging (for Pandora subscriptions). In fact, just last year, founder Tim Westergren seemed to be giving up on premium. But the numbers are gradually getting better, and maybe the ‘annoyance whip’ can work.
Is commercial free Internet radio worth the cup of a Starbucks’ coffee? We think so. However, everyone is trying to get into the streaming business and become the Netflix of music so very soon Pandora will be sharing the marketplace with some ruthless competitors like Spotify, Apple and Google. In the meantime $3 a month seems like a fair price for unlimited ad-free streaming music at your fingertips.