Silicon Valley tech gurus love to tell musicians that they “need new business models.” This is kind of funny when you consider that most of these folks work for companies that have never shown a profit. Never! Whereas my web-enabled businesses Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven (like many bands) have been profitable for decades. So can someone please tell mewhy we’re supposed to listen to these serial failures with their snake oil schemes?
I think it’s high time that artists turn the tables. We should tell these folks how to run their businesses for a change. Quit whining and bootstrap it! Just like we had to when we were starting our bands. Sell T-shirts or something!
For instance here’s how Pandora can increase their revenue 50%:
1. Pandora plays one minute of commercials per hour. Satellite radio plays about thirteen minutes an hour. Pandora could easily double the number of ads and still have a very pleasant consumer experience.
2. Pandora made approximately $86 million from advertising on total revenues of $101 million last quarter. Let’s say they double the amount of advertising and they only generate another 65 million from doubling ads. This gives them a minimum of $151 million in revenue. And that is an increase of 50%.
But seriously folks, have investors considered that the so-called Internet Radio Fairness act could take years to pass? And then once it passes it requires the President to appoint new judges that would have to be approved by the Senate. Does that sound like a quick fix to you folks? But that’s not all . These new judges would then have to convene new hearings on the royalty rates under the new below fair market value standards. This would take years.
On the other hand Pandora could start increasing revenue tomorrow by simply airing more ads. This is what most main street businesses do. They need more revenue? They generate more revenue. They don’t run to the federal government to force their suppliers to lower their prices! Adapt or die Pandora!
Of course we know the IRFA is about more than royalty rates. This is about agency capture. It’s about replacing current judges with judges that are more friendly to the the Tech and Broadcast industry’s agenda. It’s about not allowing artists and their representatives to speak out when mega-broadcasters propose direct licensing deals that benefit labels at the expense of artists. We artists could be prosecuted under The Sherman Act if this bill passes!
Let’s just hope that congress sees this for what it is: Crony Capitalism.