The ever-fractious relationship between Pandora and publishers is, well, even more fractious this week. The latest cause is a ruling from the US rate court that Pandora will pay ASCAP 1.85% of its annual revenues. That’s at the higher end of what Pandora had been asking for, but well below the 3% that ASCAP was hoping for in 2014 and 2015. The organisation and some of its most powerful beneficiaries aren’t happy at all. “This rate is a clear defeat for songwriters. This rate is woefully inadequate and further emphasises the need for reform in the rate court proceedings,” said Sony/ATV boss Martin Bandier. “Songwriters can’t live in a world where streaming services only pay 1.85% of their revenue. This is a loss, and not something we can live with.” NMPA boss David Israelite has chipped in: “The decision confirms that songwriters will never be paid fairly under World War II era consent decrees.” Needless to say, this isn’t the end of the matter, as publishers continue to mull their options for pulling out of ASCAP and striking direct deals with Pandora and rivals.

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