Sunday, January 13, 2008

Pandora No More (Or Maybe Not)

If you're a fan of streaming radio site Pandora and live in the UK, then you'll probably have been dismayed to learn that, after a year of trying to negotiate realistic royalty rates with the UK music publishers and record labels, they've been forced to block access from the UK from the 15th of January.

I for one will be really disappointed in losing the service. It's been a great medium for finding new music based on bands and artists that I like and I've bought several CDs based on some of what I've heard on Pandora. I can't understand how the music industry can't see the potential in such a service and are only interested in how much they can make directly. How we music fans are buying music is changing and they have to start moving with that change or they'll face some hard times ahead. The recent online sale of Radiohead's In Rainbows album as a digital download shows how even the artists want to change the selling model and, going by the estimated sales they made, they may tempt others along the same path and cut out the middle men.

However, there may be a ray or two of hope. Firstly, there's an petition on the go on the government's E-Petitions site to Save Internet Radio so, if you feel strongly enough, then get over there and sign it.

Secondly, some nice soul has set up a means by which those outside the US can still access Pandora. It's called globalPandora and it works for me at the moment. I suppose the acid test will come on the 15th but other users from countries already blocked say it works for them. I'm not sure how long it'll last because, this way, no one outside the US is getting any royalty fees so I imagine the UK music industry will do their best to kill this off and hammer yet another nail into their own coffin.

Related Posts: Music Recommendation Sites and Tools, Pandora: Discover New Music

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