Universal Music faces backlash over Pandora royalty changes

The way Universal Music pays royalties to artists from Pandora has undergone a major change, causing concern among many artist managers. The new policy was implemented without any formal communication, leaving some Universal-signed artists unaware that their earnings from Pandora are now calculated and paid in a different way. Previously, Universal, along with other record labels with a direct licensing arrangement with Pandora, allowed the performer’s share of income to flow through collecting society SoundExchange at industry-standard rates. However, Universal now treats Pandora income like any other streaming income, resulting in potentially significant cuts to artists’ earnings. This change has particularly affected heritage artists who rely on their SoundExchange money to survive. The lack of communication regarding the policy change has also raised criticism.

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