Pandora (NYSE: P) quit the UK in 2008, citing excessive music streaming rates. A year later, PRS For Music, noting similar concern, slashed the rates.
Now those rates are due for renewal in June 2012, Pandora founder Tim Westergren tells paidContent the economics of UK music streaming still prohibit Pandora returning to the UK…
Westergren’s ongoing reluctance to return to one of the world’s hottest music markets makes Pandora one of the few online music services not to embark on internationalisation, at a time when Spotify, Deezer, Rhapsody and others are expanding rapidly in to new territories including the UK, Germany and Australia.
PRS For Music tells paidContent the UK current rates, due for expiry on June, “will be reviewed this year” and informal discussions with online services routinely take place.
But, unlike in 2009, when Last.fm and others joined the throngs of services demanding cheaper rates from the royalty agency, so far Westergren’s sounds like the only voice speaking up so loud for a further downward revision.
As “radio” services, We7 and Pandora would be paying PRS’ “interactive webcast” rate – cheaper than the on-demand streaming rates supposedly paid by services like Spotify.
Backed by Peter Gabriel, Eden and Pentech amongst others including Purdham, We7 last year repositioned out of the on-demand segment toward radio-like, Pandora-like personalised streaming, believing consumers don’t always have an appetite to make their own listening decisions.
Update (March 28, 2012): Rajar CEO Jerry Hill tells paidContent: