Pandora‘s VP of Business Affairs and its Assistant General Counsel, Chris Harrison, has left the company.
Harrison is well-known in music biz circles as Pandora’s legal enforcer.
He has been at the sharp end of its attempts to drive down the royalties it pays to record labels, artists, music publishers and songwriters.
These include Pandora’s purchase of South Dakota terrestrial radio station KXMZ FM – which Pandora plans to use to reduce its statutory payments to ASCAP and others.
In a statement confirming Harrison’s departure, Pandora said: “Chris has been a valued team member, and we appreciate his many important contributions.
“Chris has been a valued team member, and we appreciate his many important contributions.”
“We have a very strong team in place, and are confident our music licensing activities won’t skip a beat as we move ahead.”
The latter revolves around a decision from the US’s Copyright Royalty Board later this year, which will determine Pandora’s rate until beyond 2020.
Pandora is attempting to bring down its average stream payout rate to labels to $0.0011, while SoundExchange is demanding a move to $0.0025.
In addition, BMI currently receives 2.5% of Pandora’s revenue thanks to a legal victory from May. That should amount to a payment of around $25m this year.
Meanwhile, ASCAP rate court ruled last year that Pandora must give 1.85% of i
Its total payments to labels and publishers in FY 2014 stood at $446.4m – close to half of its total revenues of $920m.Music Business Worldwide