Trade groups that represent recording artists, musicians and others in the music industry have opposed the bill, calling it a money grab by Pandora. The fight over the IRFA is expected to ramp up again in the new Congress.
At the Future of Music Summit in Washington, D.C., this fall, Pandora founder Tim Westergren said the company's listener base has continued to rise but that it has struggled to maintain profitability. Westergren attributed that challenge to the high royalty fees Pandora pays for streaming songs on its Web service.
"It's kind of a Jekyll-and-Hyde business," he said.
The Pandora founder said the IRFA would put Internet radio stations on a level playing field with cable and satellite radio stations, which pay lower fees than Internet radio services do.
"We're asking for a standard parity, which we think will lead to a lower rate. Hopefully it will," he said.
Westergren is scheduled to keynote the Consumer Electronics Association's (CEA) "Leaders in Technology" dinner on Wednesday at the trade group's annual International CES trade show in Las Vegas. CEA is a supporter of the Internet royalty bill.
Pandora has enlisted TwinLogic Strategies and Constantine Cannon to help with its lobbying efforts in D.C.
The company also announced on Monday that Chrysler will integrate its Internet radio service into the entertainment systems of the auto maker's new cars. Under the new partnership, Chrysler vehicles equipped with the auto company's Uconnect Access via Mobile feature will be able to stream Pandora on their sound systems through a driver's smartphone.
There are more than 85 car models that have the Internet radio service integrated into their entertainment systems, Pandora said.