John LoFrumento has announced his retirement as CEO of ASCAP., Billboard reported. He will depart the the performing rights organization as of Jan. 1 after 17 years at the helm. He has several impressive credits from his tenure, including the launch of MusicPro Insurance and the I Create Music Expo.
Most recently, his company has been involved in the discussions about collective licensing and digital rights. Under LoFrumento’s guidance, ASCAP launched a lawsuit against Pandora in 2012 in an effort to increase the rates paid to publishers and songwriters. The ruling handed down in March 2014 gave Pandora unchanged rates, and LoFrumento summed up many of the industry concerns about the status quo as technology for music listening advances faster than legal frameworks:
“Streaming is growing in popularity – and so is the value of music on that platform. We are pleased the court recognized the need for Pandora to pay a higher rate than traditional radio stations. But recent agreements negotiated without the artificial constraints of a consent decree make clear that the market rate for Internet radio is substantially higher than 1.85%. And today’s decision further demonstrates the need to review the entire regulatory structure, including the decades-old consent decrees that govern PRO licensing, to ensure they reflect the realities of today’s music landscape.”