Music is intertwined in our everyday lives. Whether it be listening to the radio while driving up the Pacific Coast Highway or playing it in the background when studying, music is a major part of our lives.
How do you listen to music? Do you listen to it using your car radio, satellite radio, or maybe Internet radio? There is a new legislature being brought to the table that will affect how the Internet radio works.
Internet Radio Fairness Act, if passed, will change the amount Internet radio sites, such as Pandora, have to pay in music royalties. Currently, Internet radio sites are charged over 50 percent of their revenues in royalties. Compared to satellite and cable radio, which are charged around ten percent of their revenue.
Junior Whitney Aguilera prefers Internet radio. “It’s free, easy to use, has less ads, and has a better variety than I own myself,” Aguilera said. “It customizes to me.”
Many can agree that Internet radio sites have a vast variety of music to choose from. Sites like Pandora push this act to be passed, so with the money that is being spent on royalties can be used to purchase more royalties to expand their catalogue.
Senior Kyle Labeaune does not agree with the change. “I do not think it is fair or reasonable,” Labeaune said. “I believe that since the Internet is more accessible, Internet radio sites should pay more in royalties.”
Labeaune also added that he knows artists who struggle with this debate and want to be paid for every time their song is played, but will continue to use the Internet radio as it is available to him. This is a struggle for many listeners. Internet radio is convenient, but not always the best for musicians.
Sophomore Bodie Wade is a musician and has heard of the plans for the Internet Radio Fairness Act. Wade comments on the difficult lifestyle of being a musician. “It truly is extremely difficult to make a living,” he said.
When a musician is on tour, one might think he or she is making a lot of money, in reality, while on tour, musicians usually barely break even, if not lose money. “The point of the tour is to promote their album,” Wade said. “If free music affects the sales, I think it is totally unfair to the artists and would discourage many artists from pursuing music full time.”
The Internet Radio Fairness Act will lower the percentage of revenue Internet radio sites will spend on music royalties, but is it an act worth passing? Contact your state representative through phone, e-mail, or even by tweet. Let your voice be heard regarding the way you listen to music.