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Will the War Between Pandora and (Fill in the Blank) Ever End?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- That's a clever response by the folks at musicFIRST.

I took it like the good sport I am; however the message compelled me to make an attempt to boil down the war between Pandora (P - Get Report) and the music industry. This, of course, is an evolving process with Things Keep Getting Worse For Pandora the latest installment. That piece offers context for the specific things I think Pandora must do better now.

The Twitter exchange with musicFIRST provides an excellent opportunity to highlight one of the music industry's biggest shortcomings as well as an area where Pandora has failed to properly execute.

Absolutely, there's too much emphasis on the paycheck, at least paychecks from royalties. That's not where most individual acts and bands make their money. Never have, never will. For them and their advocates to focus almost exclusively on royalties is shortsighted. And it shortchanges musicians who could more effectively work with platforms such as Pandora to cultivate additional lines of revenue.

An analogy to illustrate this bigger picture thinking: I work for TheStreet. Would I like to make more money? Why not? Do I think I should make more money? I guess, but I don't think about it much. Stepping back and looking at what it means to be part of TheStreet, I choose to look beyond the salary the company pays me. Working for TheStreet opens up so many other avenues of opportunity. I recognize this. I take advantage of them as best as I can.

You have to realize the power of what you're part of. When I started working for TheStreet the number of people paying attention to what I write skyrocketed. This elevated exposure, without doubt, prompted CNBC to call me. The somewhat frequent CNBC appearances led to a call from CNN, where I now appear frequently. This all circles back to more exposure not only for me, but TheStreet and loads of surreal experiences that, knock on wood, continue unabated and become even more dreamlike (thanks to the Pages thesaurus there).

That's not a perfect analogy, but it works to articulate the notion that musicFIRST and the other folks who obsess over Pandora vis-à-vis royalties need to ratchet down the rhetoric as much as Pandora does. Look past your nose. Look at the reality of the situation. Royalties serve a select few; they're not going to do a whole lot to improve the quality of life or further the career of your local indie artist.

Also see Pandora in Talks With Music Industry Over Royalties for an update.

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