Pandora PetitionPandora has been locked in a continuing dispute with songwriters and artists for months. The digital streaming company has been paying literally pennies to license music. A song must be played on average 1,000 times to earn 8 cents. That’s just not fair value. ASCAP’s recent loss in court, means that artists are likely to earn even less in the future.

There’s info from ASCAP below. You can sign ASCAP’s petition at


ASCAP’s Case Against Pandora

The rights of songwriters came under attack last fall when online streaming giant Pandora filed suit against ASCAP. Pandora, which controls close to 70% of the U.S. streaming market, refuses to pay fair value to license the hard work of songwriters and is now taking songwriters to court to pay even less. If Pandora wins this legal battle, the outcome will have a lasting effect on the value of songs in the online music streaming marketplace, threatening the livelihoods of thousands of songwriters and composers.

Take a look at Pandora’s aggressive campaign to pay songwriters and composers less:

Pandora timeline


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June 12 – ASCAP President Paul Williams Responds to Pandora Op-Ed Attacking ASCAP Advocacy

Pandora ran an op-ed in the daily congressional newspaper, The Hill, yesterday attacking ASCAP’s efforts to protect fair compensation for its members from the online music streaming service. Here is ASCAP President and Chairman and songwriter Paul Williams’s response…

June 13 – Top Songwriter Josh Kear Challenges Pandora Op-Ed on Behalf of Fellow ASCAP Members

Four-time Grammy-winner and six-time #1 songwriter Josh Kear responded today to online streaming service Pandora’s recent op-ed attacking ASCAP’s efforts to protect fair compensation for its members in Washington DC’s The Hill. As Kear notes in a post to The Hill’s Congress Blog, “a mere four percent of Pandora’s total revenue is spent on licensing public performance rights.” The bottom line? Pandora is stiffing songwriters.

June 18 – Get the Facts: Pandora Buys FM Radio Station in Bid to Undercut Songwriters

Pandora recently purchased radio station KXMZ-FM in Rapid City, South Dakota, in a bid to lower the licensing fees it pays songwriters and composers for public performances of their work. Pandora says this will help music creators and listeners, but the facts tell a much different story.

July 3 – Setting the Record Straight on Pandora

Recently, it seems like you can’t check the news without seeing a story about Pandora and royalties (read all about it on our Get the Facts page). Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of misinformation floating around. So we want to set the record straight for our members.

July 29 – ASCAP Files FCC Petition to Block Pandora’s Radio Station Bid

As some of you may have read, ASCAP recently filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), asking that it deny Pandora’s request to buy an AM/FM radio station in Rapid City, South Dakota. We took this step as part of our ongoing efforts to protect our more than 465,000 members against Pandora’s attempts to underpay songwriters and composers.

July 31 – Reps. Blackburn and Chu Stand Up for Songwriters

All of us at ASCAP are encouraged by today’s Op-Ed in The Hill by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA). It recognizes that songwriters and composers, while not always known to the public, are the creative forces behind the music we love.

  1. Pandora IPO Gives Look Inside the Internet Radio Leader” Billboard, 2/14/11
  2. ASCAP Internal Calculations, 9/10/2013
  3. Tim Westergren Has Dumped More Than $9 Million of Pandora Stock This Year” Digital Music News, 10/30/12
  4. Pandora buys radio station in Rapid City, S.D. in royalty fight” Wall Street Journal, 6/12/13
  5. Pandora Media Sues Ascap Seeking Lower Songwriter Fees” Bloomberg, 11/5/12
  6. 1Q2014 earnings release2Q2014 earnings release, Pandora Investor Relations, 8/22/13
  7. Pandora Removes 40-Hour-Per-Month Limit On Free Mobile Listening” Pandora Investor Relations, 8/22/2013
  8. Pandora Reports Record 2Q14 Financial Results” Pandora Investor Relations, 8/22/2013
  9. Yahoo Insider Transactions for Timothy Westergren, 9/10/2013
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