Monday, 11 February 2008

Sad day for pandora

It’s a sad day for Pandora who can no longer provide their internet services to listeners located outside of the US. James Cridland, from the BBC, calculates that royalties which have to paid to the PPL and the MCS/PRS alliance are “2.434p per listener, per hour” when on average commercial radio makes 2.57p per listener per hour. Not too much of a margin for Pandora to make it worth their while. Michael Walsh, author of the Digital Rights Manifesto, points us to a blog from Jupiter Research who were not too surprised, as they had been saying for some time that these ad-supported services “will need to have more competitive licenses if they are to have long term economic viability”. It’s well worth a full read of the blog and comments. Interesting that it occurs at roughly the same time that Last.fm are allowing you to listen to full tracks and album for free.

It’s not a surprise that so many people jumped onto Hotspot Shield or one of the other readily available proxies to continue accessing Pandora – see Frantic Industries and Tech Crunch. I discovered Hotspot Shield when I was out in Dubai a few weeks a go and found that skype out was blocked from my hotel. Etisalat had a history of blocking Skype back in 2005. In my case it possibly was the Hotel that was blocking me since SkypeOut worked nicely at a nearby cafe, although Hotspot Shield allowed me to call home from the hotel using SkypeOut.