But the real kicker -- at least it gets slightly closer to issues that matter -- is Sandoval's defense of Kafka. Kafka Tweeted Pandora CTO Tom Conrad to find out a number. Exactly how much would Pandora like to lower its performance royalties? Is it the 85% talking point the music industrial complex uses or something else?
Here are the Tweets
, which include responses from me that Kafka ignored, but should have paid attention to. Just do some work, man. Don't expect Pandora to spoon-feed you information over Twitter.
Everybody wants a number. They want information. They want to be able to make a phone call or consume a press release and regurgitate it as a scoop or some grand revelation. As is often the case, it's just not that simple. And that's definitely the case with relation to this royalty debate; it's so multi-layered and complex that it doesn't boil down to one number or one answer.
That said, I will do Sandoval and Kafka's work for them. I know the answer to their question. How do I know it? I went through the proper channels, triggered and nurtured dialogue with several key people, put together much of the information I gathered, thought and assembled and came to as best of an understanding as possible of what is, again, an incredibly complicated situation. You know -- I practiced journalism!
First, Pandora's CTO didn't give Kafka a number because he's the freaking CTO! Do you go to the bond fund manager to find out the firm's stance on corn?
Second, there is no number. Absolutely no number to report that reveals -- in one or two digits -- the performance royalty rate decrease Pandora would like to see take place. Last year's legislation in Washington sought to have the same standards for setting rates apply to Pandora that apply for broadcast radio (Wait! there are none), satellite radio and cable.
The same standards for setting rates
, but nothing about the actual rates themselves.
Third, that 85% number everybody throws around is nothing but crap.
I set the record straight on that in late June
. It's a lie, derived from basic, but completely meaningless math. Pandora has never said how much it would like to see its performance royalty drop. Frankly, I don't think it knows. It doesn't have a number in mind.