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Pandora settles fights with ASCAP, Broadcast Music in wake of royalty ruling

Through newly-forged deals, Pandora has put an end to royalty disputes with Broadcast Music and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, a report said on Tuesday.




Until today Pandora was licensing songs from the two groups under rates set by the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, which intervened because the parties couldn't agree, according to the Wall Street Journal. Pandora sued ASCAP in 2012 in a bid to get rates lowered, while Broadcast Music sued Pandora in 2013, hoping to get rates hiked.

The latter request was granted earlier in 2015, leading to an appeal by Pandora. With a formal arrangement under its belt, the appeal has been withdrawn.

Agreements were likely made possible by last week's ruling from the Copyright Royalty Board, which ordered higher rates for Internet music streaming starting next month. Ad-supported services will have to pay at least 17 cents per 100 streams, while paid subscriptions will generate at least 22 cents for the same amount of traffic. Pandora already pays 25 cents for Pandora One subscribers.

Royalties have become a major point of contention in the music industry as more listeners opt for a streaming subscription instead of buying albums or CDs. Artists have complained that it's impossible for most of them to make a living from streaming, and richer musicians have boycotted services they believe aren't paying enough.

Pop star Taylor Swift, for instance, infamously withdrew most of her music from Spotify, and threatened to do the same with Apple Music unless the company agreed to pay royalties for streaming by trial users. Apple relented in less than a day.