With royalties and digital music the subject of current lawsuits, regulation review, Justice Department investigations and new federal legislation, industry trade groups are staking out strong positions that do not always mirror the values and interest of all of their members.
Amazon has exited the MIC Coalition trade group because of its increasing emphasis on fighting U.S. legislation and regulations that would see a fairer compensation for songwriters and musicians.
The MIC Coalition was founded by radio broadcasters, Google, Pandora and others who are fighting efforts to get artists and labels paid more when music is played. “If those rates are too high, Internet radio streaming could become unsustainable and those services could be driven out of business, ” according to the MIC Coalitions mission statement.
“When we joined the coalition we had a particular agenda topic that we were interested in, and that was transparency,” Amazon’s VP of Digital Music Steve Boom told Billboard. “What has become clear to us since MIC went public is that part of the agenda – transparency – is getting lost in the wilder noise surrounding rate-setting.” Amazon just celebrated the first anniversary of its Prime Music streaming service.
Is NPR Next?
Artist advocacy group MusicFirst applauded Amazon's exit and turned its sites on MIC member NPR.
“We applaud Amazon for withdrawing from the anti-artist MIC Coalition. We do not expect Amazon to be the last to question the Coalition’s true agenda.
“We call on all members of the MIC Coalition who do not share the agenda of trying to cut pay to music creators to follow suit.
We wonder why, for example, National Public Radio, who artists have worked so closely with over the years, would be involved in a Coalition apparently so laser-focused on cutting artists’ pay?
...Music services and music creators can and should work together as partners.”