As it stands right now, newer radio broadcast stations like pandora and other internet-based services, pay more in broadcast royalties than more conventional FM broadcasters, who actually pay nothing. This year alone, Pandora has spent over $50,000 addressing this issue and lobbying congress.
The company has maintained their focus on congress as they will be meeting with the Copyright Royalty Board in the near future, to determine royalty policy for the period between 2016 and 2020. Pandora co-founder, Tim Westergren will testify before congress to plead his case today.
Tim Westergren, Pandora’s co-founder, comments on broadcast royalties in his written testimony prepared for a congressional hearing today:
“Now I am fully supportive of fair compensation for artists,”
“But this lack of a level playing field is fundamentally unfair and indefensible.”
“It is time for Congress to level the playing field and to approach radio royalties in a technology neutral manner,”
Just for reference, Pandora paid 50% of its revenues last year to recording artists, Sirius/XM paid a total of 7.5%, and traditional AM/FM broadcast paid nothing! I would say that’s a huge discrepancy. No wonder the recording industry is hurting, nobody’s paying them any royalties. This issue needs to be addressed.
We will keep you updated on what the United States Congress and the Copyright Royalty Board decides about future royalty payments from broadcast radio. Hopefully they will agree on a fee more reflective of the times we live in and more just to recording artists and broadcasters alike.