Pandora forced to close in the UK

Pandora.com a website that creates bespoke playlists based on your musical tastes has been forced to shut down because it can't afford to pay licence fees being demanded by music industry trade bodies such as the PPL.

Although Pocket-lint reported in May 2007 that the service was having to block all users originating from a non-US IP address due to legal pressure from record companies.

The company has managed to keep going for UK customers with a record of bookmarked artists, songs and other settings, and will continue to work on licences across the globe for avid fans.

Fast forward 8 months and the battle has seemed to have been lost with Pandora's founder Tim Westergren saying that the service will close down on the 15 January as an agreement has not been made.

"Both the PPL (which represents the record labels) and the MCPS/PRS Alliance (which represents music publishers) have demanded per track performance minima rates which are far too high to allow ad-supported radio to operate and so, hugely disappointing and depressing to us as it is, we have to block the last territory outside of the US", said Westergren.

"It continues to astound me and the rest of the team here that the industry is not working more constructively to support the growth of services that introduce listeners to new music and that are totally supportive of paying fair royalties to the creators of music", he further wrote.

"The only consequence of failing to support companies like Pandora that are attempting to build a sustainable radio business for the future will be the continued explosion of piracy, the continued constriction of opportunities for working musicians, and a worsening drought of new music for fans."