If you are a current investor, it may hurt you to hear this, but Pandora ceases to exist without access to artists’ music, and in no way can it (or should it) be the other way around. Ask yourself this: Will the music royalty checks decrease or stop rolling in if Pandora goes away? No. Will you stop listening, buying, streaming, borrowing, renting or stealing music if Pandora goes away? Now I feel you may be trusted to answer that question in any which way you wish — but try to be honest.
The (per song) performance royalty rate just increased another 10% since Pandora’s most recent quarterly report. Next year the rate will increase another 10% and the year after that, until 2015 when the rates can be revisited. The following images do not support any justification for rates being lowered any time soon. Survey results courtesy of The Future of Music Coalition.