The next stage in the US online-radio royalty wars has begun, with the introduction of legislation that would lower the royalty payments of companies like Pandora to match those of satellite and cable radio services. The legislation is the Internet Radio Fairness Act, which supporting senator Ron Wyden claims “puts Internet radio on an even plane with its competitors, and allows the music marketplace to evolve and to expand — which will ultimately benefit artists and the Internet economy”. Pandora, Clear Channel and the Consumer Electronics Association are backing the bill, but music industry body musicFirst Coalition isn’t happy. “There’s nothing fair about pampering Pandora, with its $1.8 billion market cap, at the expense of music creators,” says executive director Ted Kalo. musicFirst is supporting a rival Act that would create parity between cable/satellite radio and internet radio by raising the royalties paid by the former category. This battle won’t be good-natured.
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