Webcaster Settlement Act headed for White House


Negotiations between web streamers and SoundExchange will be allowed to continue, as the Senate seconded the House on a bill to extend the deadline until 2/15/09.

Tim Westergren, honcho of internet service Pandora has been in the forefront of the issue, and thinks a resolution satisfactory to all parties is close. SoundExchange’s John Simson isn’t quite as optimistic, noting that the two sides have been close before, but also indicated his organization was hopeful that a satisfactory arrangement is at hand.

The National Association of Broadcasters also signaled its support. EVP Dennis Wharton said, "With this legislation now headed to the White House for President Bush’s signature, NAB looks forward to sitting down quickly with SoundExchange to craft equitable streaming rates that enhance the online music experience and expose more artists to our listeners."

RBR/TVBR observation: If the involved parties in these negotiations fail, we could have quite a media party in February, as the plug is pulled on internet audio and analog television in the space of four days.