musicFirst Expected To Fight Pandora's Preferred Royalty Plan
August 30, 2012
Last week, Pandora co-FounderTim Westergren spoke out against proposed legislation that would revamp Internet radio royalties. Instead of the Interim Fairness in Radio Starts Today (FIRST) Act proposed by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Westergren supports a bill by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) which would set royalties for satellite radio and online radio at the same rate.
Now the New York Post reports that the musicFIRST Coalition is planning a campaign against the Chaffetz legislation, empowering its members to fight the proposed bill. The Chaffetz plan would lower Pandora's royalty rate. According to the Post, Pandora paid out $136 million in 2011 in royalties. Analyst Martin Pyykkonen tells the paper he expects Pandora's royalty payments to increase to roughly $148.7 million this year and $261.6 million by 2013. He believes that "the momentum is with Pandora. They’re asking for equality, not going to zero."
A spokesperson for musicFIRST told the Post, "They’re arguing they need a special deal, even while they become more profitable."