Pandora had bought an FM radio station in South Dakota as a means to dive through royalty loopholes around terrestrial broadcasters and push down its online payment rates. This caused all manner of outrage in the US industry at a time when rightsholders were looking to up the rates that Pandora paid.
Now a New York federal court judge has refused to lower the rates that he had previously ordered BMI get from Pandora. That means Pandora will have to keep paying BMI a 2.5% royalty rate, not the 1.7% rate that Pandora had been pushing for. Earlier this week, Pandora revealed that its revenue for Q2 increased by 30% to $285.6m year on year but its listener growth has slowed down in that period. On top of that, its net loss stood at $16.1m, up from $11.7m in Q2 2014. Listener growth was just 3.9% in the period, with it gaining 3m new listeners since June 2014, bringing its active listener base to 79.4m.