Internet radio service Pandora is staring down the barrel of new regulations that double the royalties they have to pay for the music they play, and the outlook isn’t good. Founder Tim Westergren paints a less-than-rosy picture of the company’s near future. As you may or may not know, Pandora works by utilizing a "music genome" identification process that takes any artist or song you pick and builds you a personal radio station based around it, featuring artists and songs whose qualities are matched with the one you’ve chosen. The user can also tweak the station as it plays, giving the thumbs-up or -down to anything that comes up.
Unfortunately, it looks like fate may soon be giving Pandora the big thumbs-down. The doubling of performance royalties that went into effect last year for internet radio (and for some arcane reason does not affect traditional radio stations) is quickly making it financially impossible for Pandora and others like it to continue. The company is attempting some last-minute back-room brokering, but if that proves fruitless, Westergren has stated that they will have to call it quits.