The first time I heard of Pandora, it sounded like a really cool idea for musicians, listeners, and Pandora. I figured that since you can’t request a specific song to be played the artists on the site would have to pay a small fee because Pandora would drive more listeners to buy their CDs. One day I left my dorm room and the music had stopped, and to my surprise, Pandora had asked if I was still listening. The message said that they had to pay for every song they played, so it asked if I would turn off the music if I left the room.
At first I thought that this seemed a little backwards since Pandora would increase the sales of these artists. But then this message reminded me of copyright laws, which I believe are very important. As a web-based radio station, Pandora’s royalties are pretty high and may drive Pandora out of business, and thus record companies might lose sales.
What makes the most sense to me is for the music labels to allow Pandora to play their music for free. This would allow Pandora to make money off of advertising, and record companies to make more money by directing more people to buy their CD’s.