So I, like a lot of you, got an email from Tim Westergren- founder and CEO of Pandora Radio. They’re asking ordinary listeners like you, me, and my mother to write our congress critters about the Internet Radio Fairness Act (H.R. 6480 and S. 3609). Essentially, they want internet radio stations to pay the same royalty rates as any other radio station, not the ridiculously higher rate they’re paying right now.
And here I am in the middle. Sure, high rates ostensibly mean better payments to guys like me, right? At the same time, if Pandora couldn’t afford to stay in business, I wouldn’t be getting new fans every single week from Pandora stations. It’s a rock and a hard place, but I always prefer to err on the side of rock. Tim and Pandora have built up a level of trust and equity with independent musicians where scum like Spotify and Grooveshark have exploited us.
The best response, however, couldn’t come from me. It had to come from my mother. So here’s what my mom wrote to her representatives:
Dear [Representative name],
Please vote YES on the Internet radio issue, the Internet Radio Fairness Act. My son is one of the tens of thousands of promising artists who would otherwise never be heard. Radio stations are all so preprogrammed that an independant artist can never break through to share his or her gifts with potential fans. The disparity between royalty payments required may mean that Internet stations, like Pandora, will be punished for being innovative and the only music we will be fed will be labeled artists who can afford to pay their way on to the radio.
Please support the Internet Radio Fairness Act. Don’t close the door on the only far-reaching venue that my son, and so many other independant artists turn to to share their music with the world! Thank you for your consideration.
So yeah… I may lose my rock credentials for this, but I don’t care: Listen to my mother.
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