Pandora gives up on Congressional bill; EU simplifying licensing

|About: Pandora Media (P)|By:, SA News Editor

14 months after the Internet Radio Fairness Act (aims to put Internet radio royalties on par with satellite streaming royalties) was brought before Congress, Pandora (P -1.6%) has given up on trying to get the bill passed in the face of staunch opposition.

Billboard reports Pandora will now focus on lobbying the Copyright Royalty Board for changes; the board is set to deliberate on royalty rates for the 2016-2020 timeframe.

The strategy change comes at a time when Pandora's content costs, which are tied to listener hours, are declining as a percentage of revenue, largely thanks to improving mobile monetization. That's naturally going over well with investors, but also might affect Pandora's leverage to cut a better deal.

Meanwhile, the EU is set to make it much easier for streaming music providers to obtain licensing deals from copyright organizations that simultaneously cover all member states.

Pandora has stayed out of Europe thus far due to licensing challenges; its services are only offered in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. Spotify, which just raised funding at a reported $4B valuation, has grown like wildfire on the continent.