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A New York rate court has decided that US online radio service Pandora must pay BMI, the performing rights organization (PRO), 2.5% of revenue for the use of authors’ and music publishers’ content.


  • Previously, Pandora had paid BMI 1.75% of revenue and so, with the online radio service expected to generate around $1bn in revenue this year, the increased royalty payment to BMI could be as high as $75m.

Features and Benefits

  • The research note details the latest court ruling setting royalty rates payable by online radio service Pandora to the US authors' body BMI.
  • The research note indicates that the rates payable by Pandora to BMI are higher than the rates payable to the other US authors' body ASCAP

Key questions answered

  • What royalty rate is Pandora now paying BMI for the use of its members' music?
  • What will affect future royalty rates payable by Pandora to authors' bodies?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • BMI secures higher royalty rates payable by Pandora
  • A rate rise, for now at least
  • No guarantees for Pandora’s BMI rates appeal


  • Author

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