Online music service Pandora is not giving up on its efforts to return to Europe.
The company shut off its service outside the US earlier this year after failing to reach an agreement with two major recording industry companies over royalty rates.
Pandora founder and chief strategy officer Tim Westergren said in an interview with vnunet.com that little headway had been made in the "frustrating" battle with the European authorities.
However, Westergren still holds out hope for a return to Europe, suggesting that a precedent for a deal could be set if Pandora can reach agreement with US publishers on royalty rates.
"Our hope is that, once we sort that out, we can say to them 'Let's take that as a template, convert it to euros and move on,'" he said.
Westergren pointed out that Pandora's situation is hardly unique. Aside from corporate-sponsored services that can afford the royalty fees, the market for internet music broadcasts is bleak.
"The royalty rates are just not allowing internet radio to exist," he said. "There is no business to be had there."
Westergren noted that the current situation does nothing for artists or web broadcasters, and can even drive some businesses to avoid royalties entirely by running illegal streams.
Ultimately, the former musician hopes that the two sides will acknowledge the no-win situation and return to the bargaining table. Until then, Westergren sees a situation that helps nobody.
"I would love to charge $10 a month for the service, but people won't even pay $3 a month. We've tried it," he said.
"Advertising kicks out a certain amount a month and you can't really beat that. You can't squeeze blood out of a turnip.
"I think the choice is either to work within those constraints, or say that you really are better off without it. If I'm a musician and that winds up being the conclusion, I am not going to be happy."
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