U.S. Board Sets Music-Streaming Rate Above Pandora’s Request

The U.S. Copyright Royalty Board set music streaming rates higher than Pandora Media Inc. sought, in a decision that was closely watched in the industry.

Web radio services must pay rights-holders 17 cents per 100 streams under the ruling issued Wednesday for rates from 2016-2020. Pandora’s been paying 14 cents per 100 streams for its free, ad-supported service. It sought a rate of 11 cents.

Largest online radio provider Pandora and its competitor iHeartMedia Inc. have been jousting with Sound Exchange, which represents record labels and artists. The music industry had sought 25-29 cents, while iHeartMedia suggested 5 cents.

Today’s ruling may serve as a starting point for negotiations between Pandora and music-rights holders.

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