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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default Pandora is pushing to slash musicians' royalties by up to 85%.

    Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason
    4:26 p.m. EDT June 23, 2013

    Great music can inspire deep emotions, and businesses have long sought to harness this power in order to make money. Nothing wrong with that – everyone deserves to make a living – but too often it leads to less than scrupulous behavior. The latest example is how Pandora is pushing for a special law in Congress to slash musicians' royalties – and the tactics they are using to trick artists into supporting this unfair cut in pay.

    It's a matter of principle for us. We hope that many online and mobile music services can give fans and artists the music they want, when they want it, at price points that work. But those same services should fairly pay the artists and creators who make the music at the core of their businesses. For almost all working musicians, it's also a question of economic survival. Nearly 90% of the artists who get a check for digital play receive less than $5,000 a year. They cannot afford the 85% pay cut Pandora asked Congress to impose on the music community.

    Last year, we joined over 130 other bands and artists to oppose Pandora's campaign to cut the royalties paid for digital radio spins. Widespread artist opposition stopped them last year, so this year Pandora is trying to enlist artists support for their next attempt at passing this unfair legislation.

    Musicians around the country are getting emails from Pandora – even directly from the company's charismatic founder Tim Westergren – asking them to "be part of a conversation" about the music business and sign a simple "letter of support" for Internet radio.

    Sounds good. Who wouldn't want to be "part of a conversation"? Who doesn't support Internet radio? What scrooge would refuse to sign such a positive, pro-music statement?

    Of course, this letter doesn't say anything about an 85% artist pay cut. That would probably turn off most musicians who might consider signing on. All it says about royalties is "We are all fervent advocates for the fair treatment of artists." And the only hint of Pandora's real agenda is the innocent sounding line "We are also fervent supporters of internet radio and want more than anything for it to grow." The petition doesn't mention that Pandora is pushing the growth of its business directly at the expense of artists' paychecks.

    Fine print is one thing. But a musician could read this "letter of support" a dozen times and hold it up to a funhouse mirror for good measure without realizing she was signing a call to cut her own royalties to pad Pandora's bottom line.

    We've heard Pandora complain it pays too much in royalties to make a profit. (Of course, we also watched Pandora raise $235 million in its IPO and double its listeners in the last two years.) But a business that exists to deliver music can't really complain that its biggest cost is music. You don't hear grocery stores complain they have to pay for the food they sell. Netflix pays more for movies than Pandora pays for music, but they aren't running to Congress for a bailout. Everyone deserves the right to be paid a fair market rate for their work, regardless of what their work entails.

    We're not saying that the music business is perfect or that there is no room to compromise. Artists would gladly work with Pandora to end AM/FM's radio exemption from paying any musician royalties – a loophole that hurts artists and digital radio alike.

    Other changes and compromises may be possible as well. The open letter to Pandora that we signed last year said, "Lets work this out as partners" and that's what we should do. But tricking artists into signing a confusing petition without explaining what they are really being asked to support only poisons the well.

    Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason are members of Pink Floyd which recently released the 40th anniversary edition of Dark Side of the Moon.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    New car, caviar, four star daydream
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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 11:32 PM
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    Your just going to have wait until we pass the bill to find out what's in it. Paging Mr Simmons and Mr Ulrich!
    EVH 1979: Well, actually it's not much of a vacation, because we run everything ourselves. We design our own album cover, we have to be in the office every day to sign checks - the whole corporation revolves around us. Nothing can be done without our approval. We even have photo approval.

  4. #4
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    My company used to act as a partner and sell their advertising space, but they didn't wasn't to pay commission anymore so they took all their advertising in house...which was stupid since all the newspaper ad reps had the client relationships already established. They are struggling revenue-wise.
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  5. #5
    Eruption
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    We are already in a commercial musical glut and could never have another "Dark Side of the Moon" because of industry practices like these. When the cogs of the machine believe they are more crucial than the artists, the art itself suffers. With this attitude, why even pay artists anything? Fire up the Pro Tools and Auto-Tune, hire the right image consultants, and anybody's daughter can be the next pop tart.
    Staying Frosty

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    David Lowery - Guitarist David Charles Lowery is an American guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. He is the founder of alternative rock band Camper Van Beethoven and co-founder of the more traditional rock band Cracker

    David Lowery

    As a songwriter Pandora paid me $16.89* for 1,159,000 play of "Low" last quarter.

    Soon you will be hearing from Pandora how they need Congress to change the way royalties are calculated so that they can pay much much less to songwriters and performers. You see webcasting rates are "compulsory" rates. They are set by the government (crazy, right?). Further since they are compulsory royalties songwriters can not "opt out" of a service like Pandora even if they think Pandora doesn't pay them enough. This is already a government mandated subsidy from songwriters to Silicon Valley.

    Here's an idea. Why doesn't Pandora get off the couch and get an actual business model instead of asking for a handout from congress and artists? For instance: Right now Pandora plays one minute of commercials an hour on their free service. Play two minutes of commercials and double your revenue! (Sirius XM plays 13 minutes and charges a subscription).

    I urge all artists to post their royalty statements and show just how terrible webcasters pay.

    * (I only own 40% of the song, the rest of the band owns the other 60% so actually amount paid to songwriters multiply by 2.5)

    ** to compare Sirius XM paid me $181.00

    *** also terrestrial radio US paid me $1,522.00
    Last edited by voivod; 06.24.13 at 08:34 AM.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 11:38 PM
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    Two sides to ever story. Not saying who is wrong or right, but Pandora's claim is that preferential deals are given to competing streaming services like iHeartRadio because they're owned by terrestrial radio corporations. They claim 16 of the top 20 services with whom they compete get this preferential treatment under a 2012 agreement. Pandora is also excluded in ways others are not, including allowing opt outs for member-publishers in agreements only for opting out of providing catalogs for Pandora, but they remain in place for all other competitors.

    Pandora claims that because of this, a major division opted out and decided to negotiate a direct deal "against a ticking clock," resulting in a lopsided deal, made even worse because streaming services owned by favored companies--read: terrestrial radio--have better deals already, or so Pandora says. This is why Pndora is trying to buy radio stations--to qualify for the better deals.

    I think a larger problem is that laws and record companies and artists have not caught up to the digital age (and if you read the biography of Steve Jobs, they had to be dragged kicking and screaming to where they are now) and you have this two-tiered system. The "zero TV" group (as Nielsen has called those who get their TV content through non-traditional means and has grown large enough to be looked at), though, is utilizing these non-traditional music services. And what you're getting is not at all different than before. Just because you bought a CD doesn't mean you "own" something. You bought a license for private use of the music on the disc. The same thing is happening when you pay for streaming content; it's just that the delivery is different. But current laws and agreements treat it vastly differently.

    The music industry isn't lucrative for the vast majority. Almost all musicians make most of their money performing their songs, not selling recordings of them. My cousin John was and is in a "successful" rockabilly band started in the 80s called The Blasters. But he's also in 4 other bands and gigging constantly. There's a fight here about what recorded music is worth. Many, many people think it's worth nothing. Some bands are finding ways to incorporate the fact that so much music is bootlegged, whether its giving music away, making it cheaper, or letting fans choose what they pay.

    I'm sure it's frustrating for songwriters who are used to one rate and are now getting another. I don't have a solution, but I will say its never been cheaper or easier to produce your own recordings and get them to an audience, even if that audience is a small-but-growing segment. We're still in the midst of a bit of a revolution in the industry. These are the growing pains.

 

 

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