Pandora is under fire. Artists like Rihanna, Billy Joel, Katy Perry and Brian Wilson have come together to pressure the online radio site to pay up. In an open letter, said artists and dozens of others, question Pandora’s attempt to decrease the amount of royalties they pay out artists for their songs.
According to Billboard, the letter, titled A Musician’s Perspective On Pandora, criticized the Internet radio site for wanting to lower the statutory webcasting royalty.
“Why is the company asking Congress once again to step in and gut the royalties that thousands of musicians rely upon? That’s not fair and that’s now how partners work together.”
The problem is over a bill called the Internet Radio Fairness Act, which would put into motion a new standard for setting statutory royalty rates by online hosts. This means that radio sites would pay lower for playing artists’ music. The bill will be presented to Congress next year.
Other artists who signed the letter include Journey, Missy Elliot, Blondie, Common, Lupe Fiasco, Rush, and Hootie and The Blowfish.
Like EW points out, this discussion, of how much to pay artists for their music, has been a debate since the beginning of internet radio. Paying artists a fair amount of money for their music is the right thing to do, but as Pandora officials have pointed out, they need to reduce fees to keep them in the game of broadcast radio or they won’t be able to survive much longer.
What do you think? Which side is right?