I use Pandora almost every day to stream music to my computer while I work. I sometimes use it on the Palm Pre and the iPhone 3G too. I love the steady stream of music it feeds me that always seems to be music I like. It’s kind of like a psychic radio station that knows exactly the music I will enjoy. I have been concerned for a while that the battle over music royalties would put Pandora out of business, but the good word today is an agreement has been reached between web broadcasters and the music business.
According to ReadWriteWeb, Pandora and other web radio companies will have to give the music industry 25% of their revenue as royalties for the artists and labels, per the new agreement. That sounds awfully high to me but according to the CEO of Pandora, Tim Westergren, that royalty is low enough to keep them operating.
Pandora has both a free version and a paid version (Pandora One) of the streaming service and this new royalty will result in a change in the free version. Heavy users of the free version of Pandora will have to kick in $0.99 for the remainder of any month in which they hit 40 hours of streaming music. That sounds pretty reasonable to me and heavy users should consider the paid version anyway to help them stay afloat.