IT'S CALLED PANDORA BECAUSE IT OPENS UP A BOX FULL OF HORRIBLE STUFF: Do you like music? Of course you do. Do you generally want to see musicians you like rewarded for making good music? Or do you want there to be financial incentives for people to make music that will appeal to you? Congratulations, you are a sane person with common sense.
Do you want to pay zero-to-thirty dollars a month for streaming access to all the music in the world, or at least to a radio station playing songs algorithmically targeted to your own taste? Now we're talking.
But if you want both (a) to compensate the makers of music and (b) to pay next-to-nothing for your own music, you have a problem. It's not possible to do both. See this depressing and informative article by a member of Galaxie 500 about the miniscule royalties he receives for thousands of spins on Spotify and Pandora.
One reads a lot about Spotify and Pandora and how they're trying to find solutions -- including legislative and administrative solutions -- to "the royalty problem." "The royalty problem" is that Spotify and Pandora don't want to pay for the product they're distributing. Streaming services like to pretend that they're promoting the product, not selling it, but let's not kid ourselves. Streaming services want to be the model that replaces music ownership, relegating the purchase of music to the niches of collectorship and dj-dom. But if you eliminate music sales as a potential source of meaningful income for musicians (admittedly something the recording industry has done pretty well on its own), you are basically telling musicians not to bother. In the short term, good for Spotify, good for Pandora; in the long term, bad for everybody.