Monday, January 26, 2009

Rage Against the Machine

The band? Yes and no. While I love 'em, this post isn't about RATM, but rather the concept it was founded on:

This caught my eye today. A little after the fact, I realize, but I have to say, this really concerns me.

I just got into Pandora this morning, but I'm really interested, and lord knows I'm a proponent of free music exchange. Then I hear people are trying to hike Internet radio royalties? What the hell is this shit? I can understand the desire to counteract the financial hit caused by illegal downloading and such, but charging the Internet radio people is not the way to go.

Of course, these SoundExchange goons try to justify their bull:

"While it's true that SoundExchange has had DRM and radio broadcast flags on its agenda for some time now, representatives of the company have also justified its stance on higher royalties from revenue and profit standpoints. Stations like Pandora, SoundExchange argues, have a higher profit margin and more value because they can broadcast an unlimited number of songs to their users. This dynamic ability stands in contrast to traditional and even satellite radio stations that broadcast a single song on a finite number of channels."

I think you're missing the point there, Jack. The very fact that Internet radio provides infinitely more songs already means they're accountable for more. They may get a supposedly higher profit margin, but taking 70%? Isn't that kind of steep? I don't care how much their income is; 70% is most of what they're making.

Bottom line, I think common sense should overpower people's belief of what the stations "owe." If the station can't even stay in business because of these ridiculous hikes, how are they supposed to pay you in the first place? You can't even get the money in the first place if you drive them to pull the plug on the site. I swear, how is it possible that people who've gone to school for business can be so god damn stupid about running businesses?

Sure, SoundExchange argues that there is more the Internet radio stations could be doing to increase their revenue. By that logic, there's no reason I can't afford to pay my college tuition right now, because I'm certainly still able to take on another part time job, sell all my stuff on ebay, and trade in my nice dorm room in favor of sleeping in my car.

Seriously, what do they expect Pandora to do? Plaster ads all over their pages? That would make the experience less enjoyable. Charge money instead of offering free memberships? That would ruin the whole fucking point of an Internet radio station!

Anyway, thank God that music lovers everywhere stood up and said something. And thank God I finally noticed this all took place last September. :P For a minute there, I was getting ready to start a rally, man.

Well, I hope this proves my point. The Man can't keep us down, baby. Long live rock and roll. Long live the art of music. Peace.

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