Pandora Shuts Lid on UK Music ServiceJan 11th, 2008 | By Elisabeth Lewin | Category: Digital Music, General
Pandora, the internet radio service of the “Music Genome Project,” has announced that it is discontinuing its service in the UK, effective January 15. Pandora lets users design their own streaming radio stations based on their musical preferences.
Pandora’s continued operations have been uncertain since mid-2007, when licensing body protests in North America and UK increased the company’s operating costs. In the US, Internet radio services are licensed under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). Streaming music to other countries, on the other hand, has to be negotiated with the groups which represent the record labels, and the music publishers, on a country by country basis.
Beginning in May 2007, Pandora suspended operations outside the United States, except for in the UK. Pandora continued streaming music to Britain while trying to negotiate music licensing deals to keep the service open in that country.
Founder Tim Westergren said this week that the company cannot reach an agreement with music industry trade bodies over music licensing fees, adding that the licensing bodies’ rates “are far too high to allow ad-supported radio to operate” in the UK.
The company vows to “keep fighting for a fair and workable rate structure” that would enable it to restart operations in the UK.