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Pink Floyd Steps Into Streaming Music Royalty Fray

Rock group says Internet audio companies trying to “trick” artists

Rock group Pink Floyd has weighed-in on the stage being set in Congress over streaming music royalties.

Internet radio companies are trying to trick artists into supporting their own pay cuts, write Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason in an op-ed for USA Today, “Pandora’s Internet Radio Royalty Ripoff.”

“Widespread opposition stopped them last year, so this year Pandora is trying to enlist artist support,” they write, adding the Internet audio company is trying to cut musicians’ royalties by up to 85%.

The Pink Floyd musicians say 90% of the artists who get a check for digital play receive less than $5,000 a year. They suggest working out the issue as partners.

Pandora has been lobbying for lower music license rates for awhile, saying it’s paying higher rates than either satellite radio or terrestrial radio for music streaming, hindering efforts to maintain profitability. Indeed, during a Congressional hearing on royalty fees last year, one venture capitalist said his company didn’t get into the music streaming business because it doesn’t see that as a successful business model.

Radio World has reached out to Pandora for comment.