Pandora looks to avoid Spotify’s royalty lawsuits with Music Reports deal

Pandora has seen Spotify get sued by songwriters outraged over (allegedly) missing royalty payments in the US – and isn’t taking any chances.

Pandora, under new CEO Tim Westergren, has announced a new partnership with Music Reports, which it calls “the world’s most advanced rights administration platform”, to manage the mechanical licensing and royalty administration for its upcoming on-demand streaming service.

Music Reports is a rival to the Harry Fox Agency, owned by SESAC.

Spotify was hit by two $150m+ class action lawsuits last year over missing or inaccurate mechanical royalty payments to songwriters – since combined, and ongoing – and later offered a settlement to writers via the NMPA.

Pandora says its deal with Music Reports will ‘provide open deal terms and 100 percent reporting transparency through its online digital rights marketplace’.

It adds that Music Reports’ licensing opt-in platform will ‘give music publishers greater insight into and control over how their catalog of musical works is being enjoyed, and offer consistent rates across the industry’.

“As we expand the listening experience on Pandora, it’s important that we continue to ensure music makers are not only accurately and fairly compensated, but also have more control and greater transparency around the use of their art,” said Tim Westergren, Founder and CEO at Pandora.

“That’s why Music Reports’ opt-in licensing and full reporting infrastructure is so important. I’m thrilled to be working with another partner that puts artists’ interests first.”

“Pandora and Music Reports share a commitment to comprehensive licensing solutions so that royalties properly flow to publishers and songwriters,” said Bill Colitre, Vice President and General Counsel of Music Reports, Inc.

“Music Reports is in a unique position to reach every active publisher in the market, ensuring Pandora can offer them all the opportunity to participate in these new services, on the same terms. This is another huge step forward for music licensing in the United States.”

To review and respond to the licensing offer, music publishers can log into their Music Reports account online at, where they will be able to access and download a full copy of the agreement, and then directly accept the terms if they choose.

Any music publisher can request a Music Reports account, which gives full access to the licensing and royalty reporting details that Music Reports administers for their songs.

Music Reports’ assets include Songdex, a registry of music rights and related business information, and a rapidly customizable SaaS platform for content management and accounting.Music Business Worldwide

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