They Said It: Music Industry Reacts to SiriusXM Rate Hike
The federal Copyright Royalty Board’s (CRB) decision late last Thursday to increase the rates SiriusXM pays by 41 percent is a positive step in making sure the satellite radio giant fairly compensates the music creators from whose songs it profits. However, the increase still falls far short of treating artists equitably by locking SiriusXM into another five years of paying below-market rates.
Here are some key reactions from the musicFIRST Coalition and its founding members to the CRB’s decision:
“The rate SiriusXM will pay artists may have changed but the facts surrounding the company’s sweetheart deal have not. This decision virtually guarantees the company will pay an unfair, below-market royalty rate for the music that it plays well into the future.” – statement by musicFIRST Coalition Executive Director Chris Israel
“For more than a decade, SiriusXM pocketed billions of dollars on the backs of music creators by paying below-market rates while the company crowed about record profits and boasted a market cap about the size of the entire recorded music market. At the same time, SiriusXM continues to go out of its way to file lawsuits to deny fair compensation to legacy pre-1972 artists who depend on that income for their living. That’s no record to be proud of.” – statement by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Chairman & CEO Cary Sherman
“There’s no reason recording artists and record labels should subsidize a company as profitable as Sirius XM. Everyone should play by the same rules, and it is long past time for Congress to change the standard that currently forces music creators to subsidize flourishing companies whose success is built on top of the music.” – statement by SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe
“While we welcome the rate increase for SiriusXM, our broken copyright system still allows this wildly profitable company to underpay for recorded music based on a below-market standard. It is time and past time to fix this broken system so that musicians can get fair value for their work across the board. Every music service (including radio) should pay, all rates should be based on fair market value rather than requiring artists to subsidize businesses, and music services should be required to pay for the use of legacy as well as contemporary recordings.” – statement by American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) President Ray Hair
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