1/24/13: Musician defends Pandora, blames royalty standoff on broadcasters' exemption

Paul Maloney
January 24, 2013 - 11:50am

Writing about the Internet Radio Fairness Act, musician David Fagin points squarely at the "one-sided, unfair exemption terrestrial radio currently enjoys" on royalties, and says the solution is to "make them pay their fair share of performance royalties to artists and labels -- just as the rest of the radio-playing world has to do."

Fagin is also a writer and producer and former member of the band The Rosenbergs, and represented independent artists in webcasting copyright hearings in 2001.

In a piece for the Huffington Post, he suggests IRFA foes are really on the same side when it comes to wanting to artists to succeed and get paid, and on the matter of FM radio's royalty exemption. But the music industry and webcasters are stuck fighting each other, because neither has the power to fight broadcasters. 

"Congress is scared to go after big radio and their lobby, and the RIAA is 'just fine' with the status quo. In the meantime, both sides have decided to just kick each other's asses, instead."

(Interestingly, he holds that the current royalty situation is harming the webcasting industry, evidenced by the fact that just a single "brand-name" success exists, Pandora. He also cuts through the music industry anti-Pandora rhetoric: "The 'fleecing of artists'... argument makes no sense, whatsoever. Why would a company, whose main business model consists of promoting independent artists over 60% of the time, and is practically the only place to hear new music on a regular basis, want to destroy the very artists whose careers it's sustaining, and who are sustaining it?")

Interesting read, in Huffington Post, here.

Paul Maloney
January 24, 2013 - 11:50am

Both The Next Web and Music Ally have written about Bloom.fm, a new iOS app for the UK market that combines 150 channels of Internet radio with on-demand streaming and playback of music stored on your device.

Interestingly, paying subscribers can "borrow" a song they hear on Bloom.fm radio to store locally and enjoy on-demand. Then, they can relinquish the "borrowed tunes" for new ones later. (Top-tier subscribers can download and keep music.)

Bloom.fm execs say an Android version is coming soon, as well as a dedicated iPad version to make better use of that device's screen.

Read more in Music Ally here and The Next Web here.

Paul Maloney
January 24, 2013 - 11:50am

A young German engineer/hobbyist named Peter Feuerer took a small, inexpensive TP-Link 703n wireless router and repurposed it as a standalone Internet radio... and you can too!

He even built the speaker and added tuning and volume knobs (take a look at the picture).

Check out Peter's work here and here. H/t to Lifehacker here.