Per themiddle’s suggestion, I’m posting a piece that originally appeared on my blog related to the future of internet radio being at stake. It’s an important issue and one that I think deserves a second mention/glance.
As I’ve written previously, I’m a music junkie: an office drone by day and a music PR machine by night and lunch hours. In other words, I’m always scouting out the freshest talent in the pool of indie folk acoustic singer/songwriters to be inspired by. I discovered Joshua Radin a few years back and even interviewed him, which was a blast. For the past six months or six, it’s been Ray LaMontagne and anything I find over at Reg’s Coffeehouse.
What you may not know about me is I’m not only interested in finding new music, but how music is transmitted via the internet. Back in September of last year, I attended a Pandora town hall meeting at MIT hosted by Pandora owner Tim Westergren. I later interviewed Tim and found his commitment to providing his subscribers with free quality music inspiring. As a former musician, Westergren had spent many years as an aspiring musician before founding his company.
Pandora is a free internet music provider and one of the best ways to find new musicians. You input your favorite musicians and it streams not only those musicians, but finds others that you might liked through something called the Music Genome Project. I’ve turned many people on to the site and they are always grateful.
So now comes the sad part. Pandora is in danger of shutting down due to Copyright Royalty Boards which would raise music royalties by 300 to 1200 percent. For most webcasters the new royalties exceed their revenue and they simply will go bankrupt and stop webcasting. Not only is this legislation bad for Pandora, but it’s bad for other companies/local music radio stations and translates to you not getting to sample or hear free music.
Did I mention it’s dumb for the music lobbies too because now people who might actually pay money for an album (whose sales are dropping dramatically) won’t be as inclined to since they aren’t sampling and those who download free music off the internet will continue to do so and cut into label profit. In short, they are punishing the people who might actually spend dollars on music. And these people will react by not wasting money on albums we feel bullied into buying.
As a rule, I’m against petitions and/or pleas for that matter, but I think this one warrants some serious attention on your part.