streaming music

Baby Boomer Beef: Pink Floyd Fighting With Pandora Is Your New Favorite Summer Sideshow

"Unfortunately, they have been given badly misleading information."

$$$$$ (Screencap, "Money" music video)

$$$$$ (Screencap, “Money” music video)

Money! It’s a gas, at least until you decide someone’s screwing you out of your rightful cut, and then it gets ugly. Take, for example, the PR war currently brewing between Pandora and the musical icons of Pink Floyd.

Earlier this week, the crotchety rockers took to the pages of USA Today (way to show your years there, guys) to voice their opinion of the streaming radio service. They are not fans. “Pandora is pushing for a special law in Congress to slash musicians’ royalties – and the tactics they are using to trick artists into supporting this unfair cut in pay,” the trio complain of the Internet Radio Fairness Act.

They continue:

“For almost all working musicians, it’s also a question of economic survival. Nearly 90% of the artists who get a check for digital play receive less than $5,000 a year. They cannot afford the 85% pay cut Pandora asked Congress to impose on the music community.”

Well, today Pandora fired back with a statement to Business Insider. “We have enormous respect for the members of Pink Floyd, and their amazing artistic contributions,” the company says, adding that “we also respect the genuineness of their opinion.”

Uh-oh, we’ve seen enough reality TV to know where this goes next! The claws come out, and Pandora basically accuses Pink Floyd of being easily manipulated patsies for the record business: “Unfortunately, they have been given badly misleading information – the result of a well-orchestrated campaign by the RIAA and their lobbying arm to mislead and agitate artists.”

Pandora calls that claim about the 85 percent pay cut “simply not true” and adds that it’s “by far the highest paying form of radio in the world.”

Lord willing this fight will continue for the rest of the summer, reaching ever more absurd heights and possibly even producing an angry protest song. (Hey, a reporter can dream.)

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com