80 Million Listeners

And still losing money…

I don’t have a dog in this fight because I don’t own Pandora stock.

I do love music though, and if Pandora (and Spotify, and Apple Music and other streaming services) is not producing enough remuneration for artists to be rewarded for creating it, that’s a problem.

Here’s the important number quoted in this NY Times article: 80 million regular users and still Pandora has never had a profitable year.

That is clearly not sustainable.

Artists have already been decrying the way they are compensated by Pandora and the others and most were not fans of the recent royalty rate decision reached by the Copyright Royalty Board.

Even though the announcement caused their stock to rise, Pandora wasn’t thrilled either.

Adele did not allow any of the streaming companies to use her new material. She had sold more than 5 million copies of “25” even before Christmas, the highest-selling album since 2011 — which, not coincidentally, was Adele’s previous album, “21.”

If Amazon forces the creators of all the things sold on their site to lose money, it will go away.

If streaming music services cannot find a way to compensate the artists who create the product that feels “fair,” they will go away.

Simple as that, I think.

We — broadcast radio — can learn a lot about effective PR from Pandora but if we take care of our business, meaning we provide a superior product (better content and fewer commercials), they cannot win.

That’s a big “if” but it is certainly not impossible.

Oh yeah, and if you’re a fan of Pandora, you will probably enjoy THIS.