The head of Internet radio service Pandora, Tim Westergren, has hit out at the streaming rates charged by the Performing Rights Society For Music despite the collective more than halving the per song cost back in 2009.
"We've seen no indication from PRS that it is prepared to offer economically viable rates for services like Pandora," Mr Westergren said in an interview with Paid Content. "The current rate demanded by PRS of 0.065 pence per listener per track equates to 47 percent of the revenue Pandora achieved on a per listener per track basis in the year we just completed, during which we generated $274 million in revenue and were the clear leader in monetizing internet radio."
He then goes on to point out that while PRS claims to be defending the rights of UK artists, the simple fact that those individuals aren't heard on Pandora and can't earn anything from the service purely because of the strict rate card, means in fact the PRS is hindering its popularity and revenue.
To show he's not kidding, he even quoted some numbers of listening hours, to prove how affective Pandora can be if well implemented."According to Rajar, the official body for measuring radio audiences in the UK, the total number of hours spent listening to internet radio in the U.K. is 35 million per week. By contrast, Pandora alone streamed 975 million hours in the U.S. in just the most recent month.
"Put another way, the number of internet radio hours streamed by all services in the UK in a week is roughly equal to the number of Internet radio hours streamed by just Pandora on a single day."
His efforts might not be in vain however, as there are rumblings that an upheaval of costs could be round the corner. Watch this space: perhaps Pandora will show up in the UK once again.