Since the CRB has raised the per-stream rate, it has made it harder for Pandora to survive. Scaling for Pandora was anyway a double-edged sword, always requiring higher payments to rights holders. Initially, those right holders had agreed on easier rates to allow growth and, back then, the establishment of Pandora. But Internet radio is now well developed, and the majors are not as easy going. The collective licensing agreement with SoundExchange is practical for Pandora though unpalatable, and unless Pandora can offer other services for a discount, such as the promotion of new releases, little will change.
It is in this context that Pandora has revamped its Artist Marketing Platform to support a direct-to-fan business.11 Its AMPcast feature now allows artists to target their Pandora fans by sending them audio messages about local concert dates, album releases, and other ‘behind the scenes’ content. AMPcast also provides links for the purchase of both albums and concert tickets. This new tool could be a market changer, for it would make the online radio provider not just a distributor of recorded music but an active player in the live music space.