Pandora’s Shell Game with Royalty and Revenue

Here’s why Pandora should not get lower rates!

Music Technology Policy

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Remember when Pandora used to complain about how royalty costs were over half their revenue?  Let’s take a look at their income statement for the last 12 months (“trailing twelve months” or “ttm”) from Yahoo! Finance:

Pandora Income Statement

“Total Revenue” of $1,100,000,000.  Because as Sean Parker will tell you, you know what’s really cool?  A billion dollars.

“Total Cash” of $363,600,000.

And at least at the moment, zero debt.

So stop right there–what do you think the response would be if you walked into any business school in the world (and not just the good ones) and asked the first MBA you met this question: How would you like a case study of a public company that has a $2.69 billion market cap, and that has government mandated vendors (that’s the artists and songwriters) whose selling price (aka royalties) is set below market by the government, and that has a billion…

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One thought on “Pandora’s Shell Game with Royalty and Revenue

  1. The idea that somehow the role of the government should be to force a vendor of one good to sell his product at a price he would never agree to – so that the buyer could make a profit reselling that good – goes against our countries long history of the protection of liberty of contract and property rights. The idea is absurd plain and simple, not just to conservatives, but to people like myself who are rather progressive. On a positive note, I was totally pleased this respected voice has spoken for us musicians on the Pandora issue:

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