The Quest for Radio Parity


4 comments posted

When Hilary Rosen spoke at a

Submitted by Brian Zisk (not verified) on August 30, 2012 - 1:13pm.

When Hilary Rosen spoke at a Future of Music Policy Summit a decade ago she mentioned that there was a limited amount of space on record store shelves, so if you wanted your albums to show up there, you should sign to a major.

It is too bad that the author of this piece seems to misunderstand how scarcity works in a digital environment. "After all, Pandora controls nearly 70 percent of the internet radio market — where, exactly, are these new entrants supposed to come from?" Digital distribution is not like a physical store with limited shelf space with only the remaining parts of the existing 100% to share. New Webcasters come from the huge crowd of music lovers who wish to legally share music, empowered by technology, and no longer precluded from broadcasting by the limits imposed on terrestrial radio.

Pricing may be elastic or not (and that would be interesting to determine), but attacks like these on Pandora for asking for a less onerous rate are like the Scorpion Stinging the Frog who is attempting to carry it to safety across the river.

That's a good point about

Submitted by Casey on August 30, 2012 - 2:28pm.

That's a good point about scarcity. We're not saying that Pandora's rate is perfect, or that webcasters in general should be more heavily burdened with rates that are outsized compared to other digital broadcasters. Nor do we mean to suggest that "willing seller, willing buyer" is the most appropriate means of rate-setting. Parity across platforms is a worthy goal. But the idea of subsidizing this harmonization on the backs of performers is a tough pill to swallow, particularly in an environment where terrestrial broadcasters pay zero to performers.

In order to achieve real parity, everything you articulated needs to be taken into account along with the very real need to compensate performers. Much like FMC's opposition to the "one-size fits all" rates originally proposed by CARP, that would have devastated the webcasting community, we want to guard against the whittling away of a significant and growing revenue stream for performers, particularly considering a growing number of these performers retain their sound copyrights and therefore have the opportunity to experience direct compensation at favorable splits.

We're very curious as to what you think would be a good middle ground to achieve better rates for emerging business models and artist compensation, while trying to get to something resembling parity.

It seems like a lot of

Submitted by Dorothy Lee (not verified) on September 6, 2012 - 2:46pm.

It seems like a lot of important things happening in DC while all the attention is to the election. Thaks for reporting and giving details about these things.

Musicians, please post this

Submitted by Musican (not verified) on October 15, 2012 - 11:06am.

Musicians, please post this to as many people as possible, it sends emails directly to your Congressperson.

The so-called Internet Radio Fairness Act is anti-musician and was created by and for Pandoara so they could make more profit at musician's expense.

Tell Congress: Don't Slash Music Creators' Pay

Greedy internet businessmen delivering music should not make way more than the people creating music.

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