To date Pandora hasn’t had to worry about the mechanical royalties mess that has hit the on-demand streaming services in the US because, as a personalised radio service, God decided (well, someone did) that the digital firm was only exploiting the performing rights of the song copyright. And those can be licensed via your good friends over there at BMI and ASCAP (et al). Or, in Pandora’s case, via your good litigation foes over there at BMI and ASCAP (et al).
But with Pandora seeking to diversify, because it’s struggling to break even with its ad-funded personalised radio business and so wants a slice of the entirely loss making on-demand streaming market too, the digital firm needs to start worrying about the shit storm that is mechanical rights licensing in America. And to that end, it has signed up with Music Reports, the rights administration company that was bragging at SXSW earlier this year that its platform could overcome the streaming sector’s mechanical rights problem.
Confirming that his company was now working with Music Reports, Pandora boss Tim Westergren said earlier this week: “As we expand the listening experience on Pandora, it’s important that we continue to ensure music makers are not only accurately and fairly compensated, but also have more control and greater transparency around the use of their art. That’s why Music Reports’ opt-in licensing and full reporting infrastructure is so important. I’m THRILLED to be working with another partner that puts artists’ interests first”.