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Media News: Pandora Claims It Is Paying Big Money to Artists


Also, SoftBank might just help Sprint finance its turnaround.

This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on media every week.

Link: Around the World, No Set Rules for Ebook Pricing or Digital Reading
"Which ebook trends are global and which are country-specific? Execs from Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS), Kobo, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), French retail chain FNAC and India's Indiaplaza discussed similarities and differences at the CEO panel Wednesday afternoon at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

"'Customers are going to pay for value. In the long term, we're going to see ebooks worth something,' Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo, said. 'We see a very healthy business.' As for changes in pricing models, 'we just see them as fluctuations in this long-term evolution.'"

Digital Music News
Link: Pandora: We're Paying Several Artists More Than $2 Million a Year
"Pandora (NASDAQ:P) founder Tim Westergren…was stumping for lower royalty rates on Tuesday in San Francisco. Part of his complicated pitch was that successful artists are making a lot of money off the Pandora platform. 'There are artists making more than $2 million from Pandora,' Westegren told attendees at SF Music Tech Summit during a morning discussion. 'And many artists are making more than $100,000.'

"Westergren estimated an 'average household income' at $50,000, enough the pay the bills in many cities. But outside of those details, the underlying message is this: please don't kill us, labels, SoundExchange and publishers, because we're good for artists."

All Things D
Link: Before the Apple Television, An Apple Remote Control?
"If Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) truly is intent on disrupting the TV industry as it has done to the music and telecom industries, does it really have to build a standalone HDTV? Couldn't the agent of that disruption be some other device? At least initially?

"Say, a remote control?

"That's the theory put forth by Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes, who suggests that the fulcrum of Apple's TV strategy isn't the TV itself, but positioning its iOS devices as interactive TV command centers. The iPhone and iPad can already wirelessly stream content to a TV with an attached Apple TV. Why not further expand those capabilities?"

New York Times Bits
Link: SoftBank Is Said to Be Near Deal for Control of Sprint
"SoftBank of Japan is nearing a deal to buy control of Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), giving the struggling American cellphone service provider a deep-pocketed backer to help finance its turnaround effort, Michael J. de la Merced reports for DealBook.

"A transaction may be announced soon, a person briefed on the matter said on Thursday. But the person cautioned that the final details were still being negotiated and talks may still fall apart."

Wall Street Journal Speakeasy
Link: What They're Wearing at Scholastic's Headquarters
"Bright colors and artistic expression aren't limited to the office décor at Scholastic (NASDAQ:SCHL), the children's publisher of the Hunger Games trilogy and the Harry Potter series. The company's headquarters, located at 557 Broadway in New York's SoHo neighborhood, has about 900 employees in a building designed by Italian architect Aldo Rossi.

"'When you walk in this building, the idea of children is just everywhere,' said Billy DiMichele, vice president of corporate productions and creative services. Among the highlights in the office's 12 floors: a big stuffed animal of Clifford the Big Red Dog, an outdoor terrace with lounge chairs, and colorful cubicles."
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