Pandora gets static over royalties bill
November 15, 2012
The web and the music industry have never had a symbiotic relationship.
From illegal downloading to internet radio, they’ve been seemingly at odds over every new development, and that doesn’t seem likely to change as the internet matures.
The latest example is in evidence in the newest issue of Billboard, which contains an advertisement aimed squarely at Congress, which has an upcoming hearing slated on music royalties.
The ad is a letter signed by 125 musicians and singers protesting the Internet Radio Fairness Act, a bill backed by Pandora that would reduce the royalties fees paid by web radio services.
The ad, which is signed by well-known artists including Katy Perry, Cee Lo Green, Jackson Browne and Ne-Yo, targets Pandora directly.
“Pandora’s principal asset is the music,” says the letter. “Why is the company asking Congress once again to step in and gut the royalties that thousands of musicians rely upon? That’s not fair and that’s not how partners work together.”
Pandora claims that in order to remain competitive with terrestrial radio, the cuts are needed. It says that internet radio stations are treated unfairly under the current terms.
“Today, the discrimination is extraordinary. In 2011, Pandora paid over 50 percent of revenues in performance royalties, while SiriusXM paid less than 10 percent,” says a statement put out by Pandora yesterday.
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