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Pandora’s position has been strengthened by support from the National Association of Broadcasters, which has dragged its heels in the past on proposals that would disrupt free access for terrestrial stations and reduce rates for online competitors. The dueling sides are unlikely to reach a compromise quickly, given that the NAB is unlikely to back any proposal that increases rates on its members, and the Recording Academy has said that discussion must be the starting point.
“First and foremost, broadcasters have to be brought in, and then we can talk about what the rate standard is. We can’t have a discussion until everyone’s paying,” said Daryl Friedman, chief advocacy officer for the Academy, which represents artists on traditional and independent labels.
Those divisions are reflected in Congress, where some members have sided with the music industry and others with the radio stations. When the House Judiciary Committee wades into the debate as early as next month, Nadler is likely to challenge the competing bill put forth by his fellow panel members Chaffetz and Polis.
“The solution is not to achieve parity at the expense of artists, as my colleagues’ bill proposes,” Nadler said in a written statement. “We can and should both level the playing field for Internet radio and ensure that artists are fairly compensated, at a fair market rate, which is what my proposal would do.”