Posted by on May 3, 2007 in Social Media

I just got the following e-mail informing me I can no longer listing to Pandora while in the Philippines:

Dear Pandora listener,

Today we have some extremely disappointing news to share with you. Due to international licensing constraints, we are deeply, deeply sorry to say that we must begin proactively preventing access to Pandora’s streaming service for most countries outside of the U.S.

It is difficult to convey just how disappointing this is for us. Our vision remains to eventually make Pandora a truly global service, but for the time being, we can no longer continue as we have been. As a small company, the best chance we have of realizing our dream of Pandora all around the world is to grow as the licensing landscape allows.

We show your IP address is ‘202.175.234.58‘, which indicates you are listening from Philippines. If you believe you are seeing this by mistake, we offer our sincere apologies and ask that you please reply to this email.

Delivery of Pandora is based on proper licensing from the people who created the music – we have always believed in honoring the guidelines as determined by legislators and regulators, artists and songwriters, and the labels and publishers they work with. In the U.S. there is a federal statute that provides this license for all the music streamed on Pandora. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent license outside the U.S. and there is no global licensing organization to enable us to legitimately offer Pandora around the world. Other than in the U.K., we have not yet been able to make significant progress in our efforts to obtain a sufficient number of international licenses at terms that would enable us to run a viable business. The volume of listening on Pandora makes it a very expensive service to run. Streaming costs are very high, and since our inception, we have been making publishing and performance royalty payments for every song we play.

Until now, we have not been able to tell where a listener is based, relying only on zip code information provided upon registration. We are now able to recognize a listener’s country of origin based on the IP address from which they are accessing the service. Consequently, on May 3rd, we will begin blocking access to Pandora to listeners from your country. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative.

We will be posting updates on our blog regarding our ongoing effort to launch in other countries, so please stay in touch. We will keep a record of your existing stations and bookmarked artists and songs, so that when we are able to launch in your country, they will be waiting for you. We deeply share your sense of disappointment and greatly appreciate your understanding.Â

-Tim Westergren
(Pandora founder)

I am a big fan of Pandora so this is very disappointing news. Maybe I should look into using a proxy server. On a sort of related note there has been quite a commotion over at Digg recently.

3 Comments

  1. 5-3-2007

    To be honest, this limitation has been in effect for quite some time now (at least when I’ve tried from the office). I wonder why Pandora sent you an email? Did you logon recently?

  2. 5-3-2007

    I am pretty sure I logged in just last week and I am absolutely sure that I logged in several times within the last month since I have arrived in the Philippines. Maybe they didn’t prevent access until now because I had logged in from a US I.P. address previously.

  3. 5-6-2007

    Perhaps. Maybe it took them a while to realize that you weren’t logging in from the US. Hopefully this restriction isn’t permanent. :-o