Broadcasters battle performance royalties while investment bankers court Pandora

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The dispute over music performance royalties for radio airplay is heating up again, the New York Times reports. The MusicFirst Coalition, which represents record companies and artists, and the National Association of Broadcasters are duking it out via ad campaigns and old-fashioned lobbying. Talks between supporters and opponents, initiated last fall at the request of lawmakers, appear to have stalled. Meanwhile, the Times reports in a separate article, investment bankers are aggressively courting Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora. The Internet radio service reported its first profitable quarter last year, and usage among its 48 million listeners now averages 11.6 hours a month, according to the Times. “That could increase as Pandora strikes deals with the makers of cars, televisions and stereos that could one day, Pandora hopes, make it as ubiquitous as AM/FM radio.”