What do Pandora’s new features mean for CD Baby artists?

How to get your music on Pandora Plus
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Pandora launches Pandora Plus

Pandora has just announced the launch of Pandora Plus, an ad-free, non-interactive subscription radio service that will give users the ability to replay songs, skip more tracks, access stations offline, and more for just $4.99 a month. This is essentially a re-branding of Pandora One with significant upgrades, so in the coming months current Pandora One subscribers will be transitioned to Pandora Plus automatically.

Important: these new features do not mean that Pandora is a fully on-demand streaming service (like Spotify or Apple Music)… yet, but they do allow for more interactivity than previously available on the service or found on other DMCA-compliant internet radio apps.

What does the Pandora & CD Baby partnership mean?

Firstly: it does not guarantee that your music will be available on Pandora. They will still curate their catalog the same way they have in the past. But this partnership lets us deliver your music to Pandora so listeners can replay your songs and also access an ingenious solution to offline listening that compensates for issues with lost connectivity and cellular data usage. Not only will these changes make your music more accessible to Pandora users, but they give you an opportunity to earn more revenue with the increased engagement on the service.

Once CD Baby delivers your music to Pandora, we will be able to collect revenue that you earn through Pandora directly and report it to you in your CD Baby accounting section, just like Apple Music, Spotify, etc.

Again, having your music delivered by CD Baby does not mean it will be automatically added to Pandora’s catalog, but if your music is accepted by Pandora, CD Baby’s delivery of the songs ensures that your music will be added to all tiers of Pandora’s service, including Pandora Plus.

Will all of my music be on Pandora now that CD Baby is delivering it?

At this time, there is no change to how music gets added to Pandora, only changes to the features available to Pandora users. CD Baby is delivering your music now to prepare for when Pandora releases a fully interactive on-demand service (like Spotify, Apple Music), and also so your music will be available when users engage with Pandora Plus’ enhanced interactive features.

If you currently have music available on Pandora that’s not delivered by CD Baby, it will remain available on the service, but users will not be able to utilize the innovative listening experience which includes replays and offline listening. However, once CD Baby delivers your music, Pandora will be able to make it available on all tiers of their service.

How do I get paid for streams on Pandora?

There are a couple ways. If your music is currently available on Pandora and CD Baby has not delivered it there, then you will be paid for those radio streams via SoundExchange (like you do today). Once CD Baby delivers your music to Pandora, we will begin collecting a share of both subscription and advertising revenue and paying you directly (i.e., your music will be monetized on Pandora under CD Baby’s direct license, not by the statutory license like it is today).

For any streams on Pandora’s radio service, they will still make payments on behalf of the Featured and Non-featured artists to SoundExchange, so if you’re owed any of those royalties, it’s important that you continue to register your music with SoundExchange too.  More info on how that works here: http://www.soundexchange.com/artist-copyright-owner/digital-royalties.

When will my music be delivered to Pandora?

We will be delivering your music to Pandora over the coming month if you’re opted-in for streaming. If you do not want CD Baby to deliver your music to Pandora, you will have the ability to opt-out, and the delivery of your music to Pandora will be withheld. More info on that coming soon, and we’ll update this article to include those details.

Please remember that your music may still be available in Pandora’s non-interactive service even if CD Baby does not deliver it; your music just won’t participate in the new limited interactive features Pandora just announced.  It also means that your music won’t be available in the fully interactive service Pandora is planning to launch.


What do you think of Pandora’s new features? Let us know in the comments.

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