iTunes Radio to expand overseas

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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Apple has plans to take its Internet radio service, iTunes Radio, international by early 2014, Bloomberg reports.

Apple’s plans to enter the Internet radio markets of the U.K. and Canada in early 2014 would place it ahead of its competitor Pandora Media Inc., states Bloomberg.

Apple also has plans to enter the markets in Australia and New Zealand next year where Pandora already has a presence, in addition to some Nordic countries.

Pandora Radio, iTunes Radio and Spotify all allow users to listen to music stations based on their preferences and choices.

In the U.S., battles over music royalties that Internet radio services generate for the artists have spurred broadcast radio lobbyists to push for legislation that would anchor new services to the older regulations for broadcast radio services.

Democratic North Carolina Rep. Mel Watt recently introduced the “Free Market Royalty Act” at the end of September, which would, among other aspects of the bill, get rid of compulsory licensing.

Tech policy scholar Jerry Brito, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, recently explained that he viewed compulsory, or mandatory, licensing as a “twofold” problem for the music industry.

“Not only does it rely on federal bureaucrats to set the rates that artists must accept for their music (rather than allowing a free-market negotiation take place between copyright holders and those who want to broadcast their songs),” said Brito, “but it also allows Congress to pick winners and losers by assigning different royalty rate standards to different users.”

The bill received the support from prominent music industry groups, including the Recording Industry Association of America and the musicFIRST coalition.

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Josh Peterson