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Musicians Fight back against Pandora

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Recently Pandora, an internet music streaming provider, has been lobbying lawmakers in the U.S Congress to change the regulations governinng how artists are compensated. The current manner in which musicians get paid for internet streaming of their song has been a tough issue for Pandora and Spotify alike. The company has joined the forces of other other music coalitions such as the Clear Channel Communications to support the bill.

The bill works to provide a fair exchange among the different kinds of music streaming providers such as satallite and cable so that they pay at different rates. Found on the Pandora website : “We are asking our listeners’ support to help end the discrimination against internet radio. It’s time for Congress to stop picking winners, level the playing field and establish a technology-neutral standard.”

Artists such as Rihanna, Billy Joel, and Missy Elliot have signed an open letter to the music site over the possible changes to royalties. Approximately 125 musicians have signed the letter opposing the bill called the Internet Radio Fairness Act led by Pandora. In the letter, that will be published in Billboard Magazine, claims that 85 percent of royalties will be cut in the new act.

In a 2009 report published in Swedish newspaper Expressen claimed that one million plays of Lady Gaga’s track Poker Face only earned the star $167 from Spotify. Spotify, however, called the figure out of date, misleading, and factually inaccurate.

Pandora has been around for over a decade and is highly supported by advertisements. But the increase in customers means more money the company has to pay for rights to stream music. In October, the share of the US radio listeners went up to 7 percent this year. It was 4 percent during the same period of time last year.

The Internet Radio Fairness Act is a bi-partisan bill sponsored by US representatives Jason Chaffetz and Jared Polis and Senator Ron Wyden.


Shanika Simmons


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