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Cote said Pandora’s request was a “close” call
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02 Dec, 2012


The decision released on Wednesday, closely watched for its impact on the fast growing online radio industry, keeps intact the royalty rate paid by Pandora, the largest US internet radio firm.ASCAP had sought a gradual increase in the rate to 3 per cent in 2014 and 2015, while Pandora had argued the royalties should be dropped to 1.7 per cent.Cote’s ruling suggested a hesitancy to wade too deeply into rate setting in a fast changing industry.”Any change in rate structure would have to be made with care based on a thorough understanding of the market and the uses of music in the market,” she said.ASCAP had said that, all things being equal, listeners prefer variety of music and ASCAP should be compensated accordingly. But ASCAP’s contention was “unsupported”, Cote said.”Listeners often like to hear music that they already know that they like, or music very similar to music they already like,” she said.Cote also dismissed ASCAP’s stance that Pandora was “cannibalising” music sales, concluding that the service pandora charms https://www.jewelryntjb9.top/, like conventional radio, promotes sales.”Pandora itself has buy buttons that permit listeners to buy digital downloads from Amazon and Apple, and they use them with some frequency,” she wrote. “There is no evidence that artists have taken steps to prevent Pandora from playing the artist’s work.”But Cote stopped short of handing Pandora a victory on its position that the rate should be dropped to 1.7 per cent.Pandora had argued the lower rate made sense, given that ASCAP has agreed a 1.7 per cent royalty in a separate deal with a group of parties that includes terrestrial radio stations.Cote said Pandora’s request was a “close” call, but rejected it, in part because the overall revenues from terrestrial radio “swamp” those from Internet services.Pandora said it appreciated the decision.”We appreciate the important role the rate court serves in determining the fair market value of an ASCAP licence,” a Pandora spokesman said..

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