Closing the Box: Pandora's Woes / by Chel Wolverton

Pandora faces closing the lid on it's popular streaming radio service after the CRB, earlier this year, tripled the fees due to SoundExchange. Each time a streaming service plays a song they have to pay a small fee to Soundexchange. Soundexchange is deeply associated with the RIAA, who continuously acts like the bully on the playground. Making all the rules and taking your lunch money to boot.

Now the strain of those triple fees has hit internet stream radio and popular service Pandora is getting punched in the stomach enough times that it just might fall over soon. This weekend, the Washington Post reported that Tim Westergren, Founder of Pandora Radio stated "We're approaching a pull-the-plug kind of decision".

I support 100% that artists make money from being played ANYWHERE. I know musicians who are struggling to keep up in the daily grind. I also know that there are a few who have passed along their music to Pandora so that new fans can be reached. I've also discovered new music over at Pandora and would hate to see them close their doors. I don't think that anyone in internet radio objects to paying fees for playing songs, but suddenly requiring internet radio to pay 3x the fees that the did for streaming is unbelievable. Yet, it's done.

Oh, and your regular AM and FM stations? They aren't getting hit with the same outrageous fees. SoundExchange and RIAA are acting unfairly because they are scared of what internet radio is doing for independent artists at the same time being damn greedy with what shouldn't primarily go to them, but to the artists that they "represent".  A lot of the time that money doesn't reach the artist because Soundexchange "can't find them".

The only slim hope for Pandora lies with Rep. Howard L. Berman of California and his negotiations with Soundexchange and webcasters to come to an agreement on fees lower than those handed down last year.

The Washington Post also got a quote from Mike Huppe, general counsel for SoundExchange, "Our artists and copyright owners deserve to be fairly compensated for the blood and sweat that forms the core product of these businesses." However, musicians only receive approximately $0.56 for a 10 song album.

Mr. Huppe, if you're so concerned with the "blood and sweat" that goes into music creation, then maybe stop worrying about YOUR bottom line and support services who support musicians fairly.

Related articles by Zemanta

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]