Internet Radio v Music Industry


The avid popularity of streaming music sites like Pandora and Spotify has led to Internet radio becoming one of the major platforms for listening to emerging and established artists. However the cost of maintaining this platform, even with paying advertisers and consumers has been steep, causing them to “[hemmorage] cash in the face of tough license agreements and mounting content acquisition costs.”

But with new legislation on the table in both the House and the Senate things may change soon. Last Friday Congressmen Chaffertz (R-UT) and Polis (D-CO) along with Senator Wyden (D-OR) put forth a bill called the, Internet Fairness Act, that would require the Copyright Royalty Board to use the same scale for paying musicians and setting rates for internet play as it does for radio and satellite, which as of now face much lower payments. Chaffetz has said this would place Internet radio on the same “market-based standard used to establish rates for other digital services,” thus issuing a more level playing field.

Of course the Music Industry has not jumped on board this bandwagon. They oppose it on the grounds of the suffering it would cause artists, while adding that someone should address the longstanding issue of standard FM radio not having to pony up to paying musicians for airing their tunes.

 It seems that despite the ever forward movement of internet advances in the music industry, the major labels have yet to find a way to adapt their system to profit without impeding the march of liquid and universal access to music online.




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