Pandora: If We're Getting Taxed So Heavily By SoundExchange, Radio Should Be Too

from the strange-bedfellows dept

Well, this is rather disappointing. Just days after caving in and agreeing to new webcaster rates that will harm pretty much everyone, Pandora has gotten right into bed with the RIAA/SoundExchange in supporting the Performance Right Act (the RIAA Bailout Act) to extend a similar unnecessary tax on radio. Pandora's reasoning is no surprise: basically it's saying that if it has to pay such a silly tax to help promote musicians, it's unfair that radio stations get away without paying something similar. But, still, it's disappointing. Rather than looking at adding value to the overall market, Pandora has basically decided that it's "enemy's enemy is a friend" and is supporting such a law simply because it will harm radio stations. This makes me think significantly less of Pandora.

Filed Under: bailout, performance rights act, radio, webcasters
Companies: pandora, soundexchange


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  1. icon
    TimW (profile), 15 Jul 2009 @ 2:48pm

    from Pandora

    Very interesting to read all of these posts.

    Our support of this bill comes from a very simple place:

    1) I, and we as a company, believe artists should be paid for the value they provide radio (in all of its forms). In spite of the rough negotiation we've been through, we've NEVER suggested Pandora shouldn't pay royalties - only that we should pay less than the rates established by the 2007 CRB ruling. Artists deserve compensation. It's fair and it's the right thing to do.

    2) It's wrong that different forms of radio pay different amounts. The bill includes language establishing parity across all radio. We compete directly for listeners, and we provide all of the same benefits to artists that broadcast radio does. There's no justification for the inequity.

    These are the reasons we are supporting this bill.

    It is of course true that we compete with broadcast radio - so advocating for a royalty that negatively impacts their business can be seen as a competitive swipe. But that's not what this is about.

    Tim (Founder, Pandora)

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