Radio Industry Hypocrisy Amplified
This is going to be short, and will undoubtedly draw a negative reaction from some in the radio industry.
It's not possible to open a radio trade today without seeing it bludgeon Pandora for purchasing a South Dakota FM. Pandora's reasoning is sound; it's an attempt to lower outrageously high performance royalty fees.
"If radio exercises questionable methods for avoiding payment of royalty rates ... then it seems sensible that an online radio company can play the game in reverse.
The attack comments by radio personnel are fast and pointed. This act is viewed as an end run which shouldn't be allowed because "Pandora isn't radio." That is, Pandora wasn't radio - by a radio exec's definition - until now. Question: Are iHeartRadio's personalized stations radio?
How can anyone in the radio industry say anything about this move when Clear Channel is signing deals with select record labels in an attempt to avoid paying the performance royalty rates being forced from Pandora and other online music-based businesses? (How these broadcast-label deals will affect artists getting airplay in the future is a topic I've yet seen addressed.)
There's only a handful of labels involved with broadcast-to-label deals; there's also less than a handful of radio groups. Yet, engaging this approach in a minimalist way appears perfectly legitimate in the eyes of the radio industry. In the meanwhile, Pandora's action in a similar minimalist approach is offensive to radio trades.
Can an entire population of radio employees be duped into believing this isn't hypocritical? My guess is yes. Survival generates strange logic.
If radio exercises questionable methods for avoiding payment of royalty rates, by acting as if there's a chance all radio groups will be signing deals with all record labels, then it seems sensible that an online radio company can play the game in reverse.
The question now turns to how many internet radio companies will purchase radio stations to qualify for the same lower performance royalty rate. That's an action I'm sure will come after this brilliant move by Pandora makes its way through the courts.
To see Pandora's purchase displayed in radio trades as anything more than a wise business move is hypocrisy amplified.
Today's indie artist introduction to internet radio is...
We listen for songs that evoke emotion; fast, slow, female, male, group, it doesn't matter. When an artist has the power to please, they should be given a chance to be heard.
Give Big Lou's "Takinover"
Add it to your station playlist, free!
Such is the new world of music distribution.
It's time internet radio programmers take a chance and reach into a huge pile of talent.
It is there that new hit songs will increasingly be found.