However, clear similarities exist between Pandora and Spotify. Ek pointed one out that, though not without minor holes, is accurate and sensible. There's a big difference between streaming music -- whether on-demand or as radio -- and hawking downloads. But, there's a more important likeness between Pandora and Spotify:
They're embroiled in the fight of their respective lives.
Despite Pandora and Spotify's theoretical and fundamental differences (on-demand v. radio, direct v. compulsory licensing), make no mistake, for all intents and purposes, this is a common fight. It's about helping a backward-looking music industrial complex -- and all of its moving parts -- see the most sensible and lucrative ways forward.
How this thing comes to fruition -- on the performance and publishing side -- could dictate survival or the opposite of survival for both companies. It could determine if stand-alone Internet radio companies are able to remain independent or must seek larger buyers -- such as Apple (AAPL) or Amazon.com (AMZN) -- who could swallow them up and subsidize their operations. The future, relative health of so many businesses -- from radio to the "record" industry -- is at stake.Yet, the two most high-profile Internet radio companies are unwilling to align. Not as business partners necessarily, but as advocates for proper treatment of Internet radio -- broadly speaking -- in the royalty fight. Doing the work that needs to be done to get more people thinking like THIS and fewer people spewing the type of misinformation we see from MusicFirst, misguided artists such as Cracker's David Lowery and others. By not joining forces, Pandora and Spotify handicap themselves. This not only hinders each company's chances in the royalty skirmish, but does a disservice to investors who have considerable interest in a favorable resolution. In the bigger picture, Pandora and Spotify's unwillingness to work together makes it less likely the music industry will wake up and begin to thrive to its maximum potential in the digital age. Follow @rocco_thestreet --Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.
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