Pandora’s PR problem: how the web radio titan became music’s big villain

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When Tim Westergren says something about music, it’s easy to believe him. He not only possesses rock-star good looks and a background as a pianist, but he also co-founded Pandora, the web’s most popular radio service. Each month, Pandora supplies more than 70 million people with nearly every genre of music, from acid rock to country to boogie-woogie.

Westergren says that webcasters pay way too much for the right to stream music online, more than traditional or satellite radio. He wants Congress to pass a bill that will reduce the royalties for companies like Pandora. Opposing him is a large segment of the music industry, a sector reviled by fans over the past decade for pursuing an anti-piracy strategy that included suing customers.

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