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Pandora ends its war with two major music publishers

The internet radio firm has signed a multi-year licensing deal with ASCAP and BMI, two of the world's biggest rights organizations.
Daniel Cooper, @danielwcooper
December 23, 2015
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If there's one thing that Pandora likes, it's a fight, but even the firm that bought an FM radio station to stick it to the man has limits. The outfit has decided to make peace with two of its most formidable adversaries: music licensing agencies ASCAP and BMI. Pandora has revealed that it's signed a new, multi-year deal with both entities that'll see it pay what'll probably be a higher fee every time one of their songs is played. Naturally, the terms of the agreements are being kept secret, but USA Today thinks that it'll be above the 2.5 / 1.75 percent that BMI and ASCAP, respectively, currently earn.

As an internet radio station, Pandora is a different beast to Spotify, Deezer or Apple Music, since you can't pick what songs you listen to on-demand. The rules for radio mean that, unlike the others, it doesn't have to ask for permission before it plays a hip new tune to its customers. The recording industry felt that this was an outrage, and spent the last few years throwing lawsuit-shaped grenades at Pandora's bunker. The signing of this accord caps off an interesting year for Pandora which saw it lose big in court, but it did manage to swallow a rival.

[Image Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images]

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