Pandora is getting into FM radio, with the acquisition of a station called KXMZ-FM in Rapid City, South Dakota. A startling pivot from personal radio to the more traditional kind of broadcasting? Well, not as such. It’s all about the royalty payments.
Pandora is furious that while music publishers are able to withdraw their catalogues from performing rights body ASCAP in order to negotiate direct (more expensive) deals with Pandora, while terrestrial broadcasters who also own Pandora-like digital services can sign a separate Radio Licensing Marketing Committee (RMLC) licence without the withdrawals.