Very recently, I wrote about the announced spike in royalty rates for Internet-based radio stations. After Congress stepped in to delay or even prevent this, the Recording Industry came back with a solution that is clearly designed only to insure evenness in application of the proposed new royalty rates.
As a means of eliminating the appearance of disparity between the performance royalties about to be charged to US Internet streaming music providers such as AOL Radio and Pandora, and what terrestrial broadcasters pay for the same privilege – which, for that category, is currently zero – lobbyists representing the recording industry, according to Billboard magazine, are pressuring Congress to resolve this problem by extending essentially the same sharply higher performance royalty rates imposed on Internet radio to all broadcasters.
If such a measure were to become law, an industry which once had the problem of overcoming the appearance of paying off radio broadcasters to increase the airplay for their songs — a practice known as “payola” — would begin charging broadcasters in all media for the privilege of having their songs played.
I can think of no more effective way to reduce your consumer audience, eliminate as many redistributors as possible, and alienate the vast majority of your customer base than to not only overcharge the providers for the online audience but to also raise your rates to existing terrestrial providers by two orders of magnitude. It appears that Recording Industry executives really are trying to eliminate their industry and make themselves irrelevant even more quickly than the Internet is already doing.
[tags]Recording Industry presses Congress to raise terrestrial broadcast royalty rates 100 fold[/tags]