Regardless of the math, the truth remains that any way you cut it, when it comes to Internet radio "x spins pays y dollars in performance fees" is always going to sound like a small number. The total is huge and growing (over $250 million last year alone), but the per spin number is small. Which leads me to the next, and perhaps more important point. The value of a spin on Pandora is about much more than royalties. Over 350 labels actively service Pandora with new releases. And we get thousands of unsolicited submissions from artists. Why? Because radio has, and will always be THE primary means of promotion for artists. Spins means audience, and developing an audience of patrons is THE key to long-term sustainability for artists. Furthermore, in an Internet-connected world, the ability of a service like Pandora to activate fans is extraordinary - far beyond anything broadcast radio has ever been able to offer. We have already begun developing and testing those capabilities, and the artists who have participated in these programs have been blown away by the results.There's no question -- Pandora must do more now to, as Westergren put it, "activate fans." But, before Pandora can act most effectively, the music industry -- the groups presently in attack mode -- need to embrace the reality that we live in different times. Times where the data Pandora collects can be used to promote artists of all flavors and sizes.
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