You may have heard from Pandora radio, asking you to contact Congress to support a bill that Pandora says would create “parity” in how much they would have to pay recording artists and background vocalists for the use of their music. Despite Pandora's claims, this bill is not about fairness or parity, but instead would slash payments to SAG-AFTRA performers by starting a race to the bottom when it comes to recording artists' and background singers’ royalties. We need you to click here to contact Congress today and tell them to say NO to gutting pay for performers.
Under current law, Internet radio services — like Pandora — pay recording artists under a "willing buyer, willing seller" standard. Just like it sounds, this standard is intended to approximate the standard Pandora and performers would arrive at in a fair market negotiation. Pandora is asking Congress to move to a cut-rate, below market, government-mandated subsidized rate. This would slash payments to our members and all recording artists and singers, possibly by as much as 80%.
Pandora has made claims that it needs this bill to survive. In fact, Pandora is valued at more than $1.8 billion and is expecting $600 million in revenues next year.
It is the SAG-AFTRA recording artists and background vocalists who will suffer. All other developed nations in the world – except for a few, like China, North Korea and Iran – have full performance rights, paying royalties for all public performances of sound recordings, regardless of whether they are played on terrestrial, Internet or satellite radio. In the U.S., recording artists and background vocalists only have a right to be compensated when their recordings are played on digital radio platforms, like Pandora. Artists don't get a dime when their music is played on AM/FM radio. So, in essence what Pandora is asking for is a discount that will hurt performers who are already getting shortchanged.
Pandora has sent emails to millions of listeners, asking them to tell Congress to pass its unfair bill. That's why we need to make our voices heard. Congress needs to hear from SAG-AFTRA members that Pandora's bill would devastate our recording artist and singer community, make it harder for working performers to make ends meet, and force us to pad Pandora's pockets by subsidizing its business model. Please join with our partners in the musicFirst Coalition and tell Congress TODAY that you support parity and fairness that treats performers fairly, not a government mandated subsidy that starts a race to the bottom.
Thanks for standing up for the rights of SAG-AFTRA performers who make their livings as recording artists and singers.