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CRB Rate Ruling: Pandora schedules conference call; stock rockets in after-hours

The headline number: $.0017. That means webcasters pay artists and labels 17 cents for every hundred streams of music tracks. That number applies to most of Pandora’s stream recipients — about 74-million of Pandora’s 78-million monthly listeners. The other subscribe to the $5/month no-commercials service, and those streams will cost Pandora 22 cents per hundred.

The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) unsurprisingly took a middle road, treading a line between the $.0011 that Pandora requested, and the $.0025 that SoundExchange argued for on behalf of music rights-holders. Both numbers were extremes; each company doubtless wanted to set a wide goalpost for the CRB to kick through.

The future of Music Coalition, which advocates for musicians, has taken a sunny perspective: “The new rates will allow artists and independent labels to participate in this success at a higher level. The fundamental value of popular Internet radio services comes from music creators, and we are glad this recognized in a healthy rate increase.”

Pandora stock, which priced in 3% bullish rise during market hours, shot upward 20% in after-hours trading.

The company has scheduled an open conference call for 7:30pm EST / 4:30pm PST.

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Brad Hill

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