Judge Refuses to Alter Pandora’s Royalty To Songwriters.
New York’s Federal judge Denise cote has deemed that the rate the popular internet music stream Pandora must pay songwriters the continued same amount as before. During the ruling held down on Friday March 14,Cote ruled that Pandora must pay The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) a rate of 1.85% of revenue until 2015, a rate that Pandora has been paying for the past three years.
ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento issued a statement saying, “And today’s decision further demonstrates the need to review the entire regulatory structure, including the decades-old consent decrees that govern PRO licensing, to ensure they reflect the realities of today’s music landscape.”
The Upsurge in Internet Radio.
Internet radio and music streaming service have grown quite popular in past recent years. According to a press release by Pandora’s website, the metric released for February has revealed that Pandora’s user amount has been increasing significantly. The amount of listeners hours for February were up to 1.5 billion, an increase of nine percent similar to that of last year. Additionally. active listeners totaled around 75 million, an increase by 11 percent from the 68 million from the same period of time from the previous year.
LoFrumento believes this growth is cause for a higher rate than 1.85 percent. “Streaming is growing in popularity – and so is the value of music on that platform. We are pleased the court recognized the need for Pandora to pay a higher rate than traditional radio stations. But recent agreements negotiated without the artificial constraints of a consent decree make clear that the market rate for Internet radio is substantially higher than 1.85%.”
The professional membership organization of songwriters, composers, and music publisher of all kinds of music, the ASCAP, has also issued a statement ahead of the public ruling done by judge Denise Cote, which will happen next week. At the moment, Pandora has declined any comments until the public ruling of the case.
In effect, the ruling seems like a draw between the two giant organizations. As ASCAP says, “While Judge Cote’s decision does not fully adopt the escalating rate structure that ASCAP had proposed, it also does not adopt Pandora’s argument that the 1.7% RMLC rate should apply to Pandora.”