Pandora tells Congress: Internet royalties are 'unfair and indefensible'

Tom Pakinkis

Pandora will today tell Congress that the royalty rates internet radio services are required to pay are ‘astonishingly high’ and create an “unfair and indefensible” situation.

The assessment comes from a written testimony from the company’s CEO Joseph Kennedy who is pressing lawmakers to pass a bill to bring internet radio royalties under the same standard for satellite and cable radio services.

Opposing the demand, however, is collection society SoundExchange. The company’s president Michael Huppe said in his own written testimony, “The claims that the current rates are ‘too high’ are wrong, overblown, and based on an incomplete and premature record.”

Huppe argues that Pandora has chosen to build its audience without raising its advertising load or increasing its subscription fees, and musicians should not be the ones to subsidise that decision.

Arguments surrounding the standard of streaming radio royalties has been raging for some time.

Pandora sued ASCAP at the beginning of the month in an attempt to lower songwriter royalty rates.

Source: Bloomberg Business Week


Tags: Internet, Pandora, royalties, internet radio, SoundExchange

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