Quick Hits: Michael Huppe debates The Hill; Italian telecom music service at 2M listeners

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web. Today:

Michael Huppe, CEO of SoundExchange, debates The Hill on music licensing issues: It started with a column published by Brian McNicoll, author and former Director of Communications for a House committee. McNicoll criticizes the Copyright Royalty Board’s existence, preferring a free-market system of determining the value of music, and the royalties paid to record labels by Pandora and other Internet radio outlets. More specifically, he complains about SoundExchange’s push for high royalty rates, fearing that “golden goose” companies like Pandora will be wiped out by escalating cost of music. “If the Copyright Royalty Board ignores clear market evidence and grants the record labels a larger part of the pie, we all may find the pie itself has become much smaller.”

Michael Huppe replied with his own OpEd, defending the governments’ regulatory process. “The notion that digital radio companies are upstarts that would instantly go bankrupt if the cost of royalties increases is ludicrous.” He notes a study revealing that Netflix pays a greater percentage of revenue to movie studios than Pandora does to record labels.

Both columns worth reading.

Italian telecom’s TimMusic surpasses 2 million listeners:┬áThe most successful music service you’ve never heard of? TimMusic is owned and operated by Telecom Italia. With the natural advantage of a built-in customer base, the music platform has gained over two-million users, 400,000 of whom are “active.”


Anna Washenko