Congressman Inslee (D-Wash.) has taken stands on many issues that make me proud of my hometown representative in Washington.
The latest: Jay has introduced legislation that would limit webcaster payments to 7.5 percent of revenue. The bill, which has a twin in the Senate, has been sent to a number of different committees, but many legislators have asked webcasters and SoundExchange to eliminate the need for a bill by working out a deal of their own.
"My" D.C. rep thinks the new rate schedule will prove disastrous not only to webcasters, but also to listeners and even music artists. He argues that the Internet radio industry benefits all Americans by offering them far greater variety than traditional radio and that it benefits smaller artists by providing them exposure they'd never get otherwise.
Webcasters like Pandora and Last FM collectively broadcast songs from more than 100,000 artists every day – and most of them provide links that make it easy for users to buy the music they're hearing. Most of those artists never get any exposure on regular commercial radio or even satellite radio. Webcaster surveys suggest that exposure to new artists and new songs leads frequent listeners to buy more music and see more shows than they did before they discovered Internet radio. SoundExchange, of course, argues that plummeting music sales show that Internet radio hurts sales by providing a substitute for CDs and other purchased music.