Tinnitus (ringing in my head) makes it not fun for me to be in a very quiet room. I’m lucky that Nancy likes to fall asleep with the TV on. Otherwise there is usually plenty of background noise to make the tinnitus bearable. Except where our desktop computer is located.
Therefore, when it’s not “fan weather” I depend on Pandora.com – a marvelous internet radio station – to play in background when I’m surfing or blogging. It’s free. But Congress and the Recording Industry Association of America are putting them out of business.
However, an obscure federal panel decided last year that Internet radio providers had to use a different pay scale. An exorbitant pay scale. It’s high now, but by 2010, sites like Pandora will have to pay 2.91 cents per listener per hour. Right now, Pandora will have to pay the RIAA 70% of its projected revenue for 2008, and that bill is going to shut down the site, Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora, said…
I love Pandora.com because it has exposed me to music I NEVER would have listened to in the past. Therefore, I’ve listened to artists that NEVER would have made my playlist because I didn’t know they existed.
Yet RIAA, who you would think would want me to listen to new artists, is killing the Goose that has a big golden egg.
The music industry has been suffering massively reduced revenues lately as music downloads have caused CD sales to plummet. Internet radio was a shining new business model. Not only does it give you a way to listen to your favorites, it gives emerging artists a chance to be heard. Pandora and Slacker make it easy to buy new music too. — music that you might never have heard any other way. The music business must be crazy to limit this pipeline.
Regular radio is exempt from these outrageous feeds. Because they carry those damn irritating commercials to pay the way. Get this: they don’t pay if they broadcast music, but do pay if they stream it on their website!
There is hope – I hope it doesn’t come too late.
Internet Radio Equality Act (HR 2060), which Manzullo and Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) introduced last year. The bill, which maintains the strong bipartisan support of 149 cosponsors, would vacate a Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) decision last year to triple royalty rates Internet radio stations must pay and instead put the rates at parity with satellite and cable radio.
I don’t have a iPod. I find the earpieces annoying. I don’t like CD’s because I don’t want to listen to the same artist for an hour. Terresterial radio is a non-starter because in our little burg it’s Public Radio longhair, Classic Rock, or Country Western. And all those irritating local commercials!
I sure hope Pandora’s box doesn’t get slammed shut by the Recording Industry Association of America. The irony would just be too, well, ironic.