Statement from musicFIRST Executive Director Chris Israel on SiriusXM’s Third Quarter Results
Washington, D.C. (October 25, 2017) – “By any measure, SiriusXM has emerged as a dominant digital music service. The company’s performance and diverse content provide significant benefits to investors and listeners. However, the music creators it depends on are not sharing in SiriusXM’s success.
“SiriusXM benefits from a sweetheart deal granted by the U.S. government over 20 years ago that shields it from market forces and virtually guarantees it will pay an unfair, below-market royalty rate for the music that it plays. Grandfathered deals benefiting SiriusXM and AM/FM radio stand in stark contrast to streaming services, which pay music creators at fair market value.
“It’s time our laws value music the same regardless of how we listen to it. Congress has such an opportunity by passing the Fair Play Fair Pay Act. Under the legislation, all forms of radio, regardless of the technology or platform used, would pay a fair market value for music performances. The legislation would end SiriusXM’s below-market rate and apply the free market ‘willing buyer, willing seller’ standard across all platforms. The legislation would also end AM/FM radio broadcasters’ special treatment and require them to also fairly compensate music creators.
“Bipartisan support for music creators is growing in Congress. We’re hopeful that the U.S. Congress will fix our outdated music laws and enact the tenets of the Fair Play Fair Pay Act.”
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