Pandora Suit May Upend Century-Old Royalty Plan | NY Times

After federal antitrust investigations, both groups agreed to government supervision in 1941.

This system has hummed along for decades. But with the rise of Internet radio, publishers have complained that the rules are antiquated and unfair. They point to the disparity in the way Pandora compensates the two sides of the music business: Last year, Pandora paid 49 percent of its revenue, or about $313 million, to record companies, but only 4 percent, or about $26 million, to publishers.

“It’s a godawful system that just doesn’t work,” said Martin N. Bandier, the chairman of Sony/ATV, the world’s largest music publisher.

The wider music world has been galvanized by the issue of low royalties from fast-growing streaming companies.

For songwriters, Ascap and BMI have also been among the most reliable institutions in the music industry, and few want to see them go. But Rick Carnes, a Nashville songwriter and president of the Songwriters Guild of America, said that while these organizations had served him and his colleagues well, the Justice Department agreements that govern them were outdated and must be changed.

“This is a horse-and-buggy consent decree in a digital environment,” Mr. Carnes said. “There’s no way that works now.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE NEW YORK TIMES:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/14/business/media/pandora-suit-may-upend-century-old-royalty-plan.html?

7 royalty cheques that’ll make you lose your faith in the music industry | AUX

How little does the music industry pay artists? Shockingly little. Spotify, the dominant streaming music source in the U.S., is leaking money. They reportedly dole out 70 per cent of their revenue to royalties, and while that number seems high, consider this: each song stream pays an artist between one-sixth and one-eight of a cent. One source claimed that, on streaming music services, an artist requires nearly 50,000 plays to receive the revenue earned from one album sale. Ouch.

Indeed, things are getting dire. And here are seven examples of how bad things can get.

READ THE FULL STORY AT AUX:
http://m.aux.tv/news/100455-7-royalty-cheques-that-ll-make-you-lose-your-faith-in-the-music-industry

FCC Shelves Pandora’s Bid For South Dakota Radio Station | Billboard

In a setback to its music licensing plans, Pandora has received word from the FCC that for the time being it is no longer processing its application to transfer ownership of the broadcasting license for KXMZ, the Rapid City, South Dakota radio station it acquired last June. Pandora had hoped to take advantage of the lower rates that internet streaming services owned by terrestrial radio stations enjoy.

READ THE FULL STORY AT BILLBOARD:
http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/legal-and-management/5869791/fcc-shelves-pandoras-bid-for-south-dakota-radio

Pandora loses BMI court battle over music licensing | Circa

Pandora has spent more than a year in legal battles with music publishers over exactly what songs the online radio service has access to.

A federal judge in New York has ruled that Broadcast Music Inc., a performance rights organization, may allow its members to prevent their music from being licensed to Pandora. The Dec. 18 decision means that Pandora may soon lose access to music from publishers like Universal and BMG.

READ THE FULL POST AT CIRCA:
http://cir.ca/news/pandoras-music-licensing-battles

IN “HISTORIC MOMENT” FOR MUSIC, PANDORA STANDS DOWN | ECR

FROM ARTIST & ECR MUSIC GROUP FOUNDER BLAKE MORGAN:

BOWING TO PUBLIC PRESSURE, INTERNET RADIO GIANT ABANDONS LEGISLATION THAT WOULD LOWER MUSIC ROYALTIES

If you spoke up about this, if you posted about it on Facebook or Tweeted about it to your friends, if you added your voice to the courageous chorus who stood up and spoke out, you helped win this fight.

This victory belongs to you.

Onward. Yours, in music…

B

READ THE FULL POST FROM BLAKE MORGAN HERE:
http://us7.campaign-archive2.com/?u=80de27b3080b977742e48854f&id=96bee13002

Blake Morgan on Being a Musician, Pandora and Artists Rights (Video)

Guest post by Blake Morgan (copyright in the author)

Relativity Media and Google asked if I’d sit down and talk about my life in music, my new record, and the current battle being waged between musicians and Pandora that’s been garnering so many headlines. It was a terrific conversation that lasted almost two hours. Of course the piece they were looking to do was only going to be around five to eight minutes, and in the end it still turned out to be over 10 minutes long. But, there were a couple of points I felt were important beyond what was kept for the piece that I’d like to briefly underline here.

The first is that as big as the battle with Pandora is, the battle musicians are now saddled up for across the board is even bigger. Calling out Pandora on its unscrupulous double-talk to Congress and Wall Street, and fighting to get them to change their behavior is necessary and righteous. And I’m optimistic that in the long run that battle will get won. But we also have to keep our eyes on the prize: ending ad-funded piracy.

As long as the music world is bleeding revenue from the theft of our music (which in turn is sponsored by giant corporations that place ads right on the illegal download pages), the real problem won’t get solved. Our work, and our livelihoods will continue to be stolen right out from under us. Again, I’m optimistic, and I trust that we can focus on more than one righteous battle at a time. Both the important smaller one, and the over-reaching larger one.

Second, I wanted to just underline a whiff of good news in all this that I’ve been noticing. For the first time in this struggle, I’m seeing music lovers join music makers in our outrage. I’m getting letters and emails, messages, and tweets from music-loving people who are raising their own voices and saying, “I’m with you! I really understand this now…we want to get the music that matters to us, and we want you to get paid fairly.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people tell me this, and it’s in stark contrast to what I’ve heard over the last ten years.

So I’m not hopeful in a vacuum…I believe the consciousness is changing, and that there’s a great foundation to build on. There’s so much work to do, and little time to do it if we’re going to save the young musicians out there who are hoping in turn to be musicians as their profession.

You can’t wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time.

Let’s win these fights. Let’s get to work.

###

RELATED:
Pandora Tries to Convince a Musician That He Isn’t Getting Screwed…

#StandWithSongwriters Petition Against Pandora’s Exploitation

Please sign the Petition Here:
https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/4273-standwithsongwriters-petition

The rights of songwriters are under attack. Pandora Media Inc., which controls 70% of the US streaming market, has launched an aggressive campaign to pay songwriters and composers less than a fair market share for their work – even as the company’s revenue and listener base has soared.

As songwriters and composers, we value the opportunities Pandora and other music streaming companies create for our music to reach new audiences. In return, we want Pandora to value our contribution to your business.

Right now, a song that is streamed on Pandora 1,000 times, earns the songwriter only 8 cents on average. And yet, Pandora is going to great lengths – even taking songwriters to court – to pay us even less.

Music drives Pandora’s business. If the company’s revenues keep getting larger, why should the rate it pays songwriters keep getting smaller?

Songwriters are not the enemy. Instead of fighting to pay music creators less than a fair market rate, join us in an effort to construct fair music licenses that allow songwriters and composers to thrive alongside the businesses that revolve around our music.

Songwriters deserve fair pay. If you agree, commit a tweet and help send this message to incoming Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews.

BREAKING: Pandora Runs to the Government to Screw Songwriters Again

Good news: Pandora is scheduled to come to the stock market with a “secondary offering”, meaning the company is essentially having a second IPO. According to the Wall Street Journal:

The Internet radio company and its venture-capital backer Crosslink Capital Inc. are slated to offer 14 million shares late Thursday[, i.e., tomorrow], a stake that was worth $336 million when it was announced after Monday’s close.

So music is good business, right? It sure is–for everyone but the songwriters and artists.

In case any songwriter wondered, Pandora has more money than you and they intend to use it to screw you as hard as they possibly can to enrich themselves.

Today Pandora won a truly Pandora-style “victory” in the ASCAP rate court by getting a federal judge to rule that Pandora–a monopolist in webcasting–can use the out of date ASCAP consent decree to force songwriters to license to them.

And make no mistake–this is a very important case to Pandora because the one way that songwriters have of getting out of the trap inside Pandora’s house of cards is to say no and refuse to license to Pandora. And “no” is the one thing that Pandora can’t have you say because their only product is music. The government granted them an effective monopoly on webcasting and Pandora intends to keep it that way.

READ THE FULL POST HERE AT MUSIC TECH POLICY:
http://musictechpolicy.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/pandora-runs-to-the-government-to-screw-songwriters-again/

MORE HERE AT DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS:
http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2013/20130918pandora

Stop short-changing songwriters | The Hill

Web streaming is quickly becoming the preferred method for listening to music in this country. And Pandora, with more than 70 million active listeners and about a 70 percent market share, is by far the nation’s most popular service.

That’s why we’re deeply troubled by the pitifully low royalty Pandora pays to songwriters, composers and music publishers for the rights to stream their creative works online.It makes sense that one of Pandora’s core input costs should be royalties paid to the creators of the music they stream.

But right now, Pandora only pays about 4 percent of their annual revenue in performance rights royalties to songwriters, composers and music publishers.

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE HILL:
http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/314531-stop-short-changing-songwriters