Pittman Teams With Westergren to Lobby Congress
A lobbying group called the Internet Radio Fairness Coalition has launched and it has Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman and Pandora Founder Tim Westergren on the same team. Pittman has never been a big fan of the Pandora business model but in this case the Internet music service's millions of users will come in handy as both men lobby Congress for friendlier royalty rates. Pittman and Westergren are joined by 10 other organizations to form this coalition and push for pending legislation to lower royalty rates.
Founding members of the Coalition include 977 Music, AccuRadio, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Digital Media Association (DiMA), Digitally Imported, Engine Advocacy, National Religious Broadcasters Music License Committee (NRBMLC), Pandora (NYSE: P), Radio Paradise, Salem Communications, and the Small Webcaster Alliance (SWA). The Coalition website is www.InternetRadioFairness.com.
Pittman said, “We believe that market-based solutions are the way to go. But in the absence of these agreements, the CRB needs to have and consider more relevant information so they are better able to develop a rate structure that will lead to a healthy, sustainable Internet radio marketplace. This will enable artists to earn more and connect more with their fans, consumers to have more choices, and entrepreneurs to invent and invest in new services.”
Westergren added, “Legislation that establishes a fair royalty rate setting-standard for Internet radio will drive investment in webcasting, which ultimately offers greater opportunities and more revenue for working artists,” said Pandora Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Tim Westergren. “Internet radio has been shown to help decrease music piracy and increase music sales. When the digital music sector is allowed to grow and innovate, everybody wins.”
The Coalition’s mission is to urge Congress to support legislation (The Internet Radio Fairness Act of 2012, or IRFA), aimed at bringing the royalty system for Internet radio into the 21st century -- creating a sustainable business model for the industry that gives consumers more choices and more products for listening to the music they love; enables artists to earn more money as Internet radio grows; creates a marketplace that will attract entrepreneurs to invest in new, innovative ways to deliver music to the public; and drives higher revenues for record labels.
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