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Reaction To Copyright Royalty Board Decision From Pandora, Sound Exchange, Future Of Music Coalition

reactionReaction to yesterday's Copyright Royalty Board decision determining non-interactive streaming music rates have been strong and hint at action ahead by both asides.  Three major stakeholders weigh in:


Pandora-logoThis is a balanced rate that we can work with and grow from. The new rate structure will enable continued investment by Pandora to drive forward a thriving and vibrant future for music,” said Brian McAndrews, chief executive officer of Pandora. “Working collaboratively with partners across the music industry is a top priority as we connect listeners with music they love, and artists with their audience.”

“This decision provides much-needed certainty for both Pandora and the music industry,” continued McAndrews. “We are moving full-steam ahead with our ambitious plan to continue to build the world’s most powerful music discovery platform.”

Future of Music Coalition

Future of MusicCEO Casey Rae: "These rates aren't exactly a lump of coal. Over the past decade, we’ve seen billions of dollars in revenue generated by the explosive growth in webcasting. The new rates will allow artists and independent labels to participate in this success at a higher level. The fundamental value of popular Internet radio services comes from music creators, and we are glad this has been recognized in a healthy rate increase for non-subscription Internet radio services. Creators can feel good about how payout is structured under the statutory license, where revenue splits between artists and labels are fair and transparent, and payment to artists comes direct from SoundExchange."

"We are concerned, however, that there does not appear to be a distinction in rates for small commercial webcasters. Digital music benefits from diversity, and services with more modest operations often help developing talent and niche genres find audiences while contributing to the overall revenue pool. If there isn't an option for new entrants to perform music from a broad range of artists, we may end up with a less diverse digital landscape."

"It also appears that by combining pureplay and commercial rates, incumbent broadcasters will receive a sizable reduction in royalty obligations for their digital transmissions. Commercial terrestrial radio already gets an unfair advantage due to the fact that they are not required to pay performers a dime for over-the-air broadcasts. This is in stark contrast to the rest of the developed world. Congress should take swift action to close this loophole to support a positive global balance of trade and the equitable treatment of American creators. And artists and their allies should push back on consolidated corporate FM getting yet another unfair advantage."


Sound-exchange-logo“SoundExchange presented a strong case on the fair market rate for music played by webcasters utilizing the statutory license. Our rate proposal used data from dozens of marketplace deals and was based on what willing buyers and sellers would agree to.

"Music has tremendous value and is the core foundation of the webcasting industry. It’s only fair that artists and record labels receive a market price when their music is used. We believe the rates set by the CRB do not reflect a market price for music and will erode the value of music in our economy. We will review the decision closely and consider all of our options.

“Additionally it is deeply disappointing to see that broadcasters are being given another unfair advantage. In their terrestrial business they do not pay a dime for the recordings they use and now this $17B industry will receive an additional huge subsidy on the music they use in webcasting.

“As music advocates, SoundExchange represents the entire recorded music industry and we remain united on the principle that recording artists and rights owners deserve a fair market rate when their music is used.

“SoundExchange appreciates the efforts of the CRB judges and staff throughout this process.”