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PANDORA'S TERRESTRIAL PLAY: THE NEXT CHAPTER
FCC's Decision to Let Next Phase Begin on Streaming-Radio Giant's Acquisition of Broadcast Outlet Elicits Protests

The FCC has eased the way for Pandora’s acquisition of South Dakota broadcast radio station KXMZ (aka HITS 102.7). The purchase puts the streaming-radio giant on track to pick up an RMLC license—and thus pay the same rates as broadcasters with digital properties, including iHeart.

Pandora prevailed over ASCAP and several of its key members last Spring in a Federal antitrust suit, and the decision was upheld by an appellate court this week.

Pandora’s move to buy the terrestrial outlet, which serves the Rapid City area and environs, was unanimously unopposed by FCC commissioners. The online giant has announced that it's hired a Public Service Director for KXMZ and provided data to help program the station.

The decision has elicited howls of protest in some industry circles, notably from the PROs. A statement from ASCAP called Pandora’s terrestrial move “a transparent ploy to pay songwriters even less for the right to stream their music online.” 

 In a related story, a bighorn sheep in Custer State Park just made a station based on “Uptown Funk.”

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