Business Matters is a daily column that offers insight, analysis and opinion on the day's news. Follow Billboard senior analyst Glenn Peoples on Twitter at twitter.com/billboardglenn.

-- Sirius XM’s subscribers and free cash flow were both up last quarter. The satellite radio company said on Tuesday it ended Q4 2009 with 18.8 million subscribers, an increase of 257,000 that was aided by improved car sales. The company also said it will report free cash flow of $100 million and pro forma adjusted operating income of $400 million – both big improvements over the prior year. Now, positive cash flow is not the same as positive accounting profit, but it is another success for a company that has long been on the financial ropes. Sirius XM will release its Q4 and full year results next month. (Reuters)

-- Citing Congress’s desire to act in the public’s interest to protect intellectual property, the Department of Justice has defended the constitutional challenge against the $675,000 in statutory damages (30 infringements at the maximum of $22,500 per infringement) imposed by the jury in the Joel Tenenbaum file sharing case. “As it did in its Thomas-Rasset brief, the government argues here that, notwithstanding the statutory range set forth in the Copyright Act, the court retains discretion to remit the award under common law principles. However, DOJ cites no copyright statutory damages cases in support of this argument, and in fact the labels argued in their brief in defense of the Thomas-Rasset award of $1.92 million ($80,000 per work) that a court does not have the authority to reduce a jury's award of statutory damages under the common law.” (Copyrights & Campaigns)

-- In part two of an interview with Musician Coaching, Tom Silverman says he can’t think of many artists who owe their career to the Internet. The Internet, he says, is far less valuable of a promotion tool that it gets credit for being. Agreed. A sample: “Chris Anderson’s ‘Long Tail’ article said that all you have to do is be able to get that record out, and they’ll come. But that’s not working…Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver and Corey Smith are selling a significant amount – above 10,000 units – a lot of which is at their shows, and they’re not active online. They’re not Twitterheads. They didn’t break from the Internet. They broke from touring, and they had a good story, and the good story spread like wildfire through traditional media like NPR.” (Musician Coaching)

-- For all the complaints that artists lack control over their recorded music, there are surprisingly few artists actually assuming control of their recorded music. So it’s always nice to see an artist take both control and ownership (and assume financial risk) by self-releasing recorded music. Shelby Lynne will self-release her next album through her own label, EVERSO, and distributor Fontana. Her album is due out April 20. (phillyBurbs)

-- In a public speech in Sacramento, Tower Records founder Russ Solomon talked about the demise of Tower (“we borrowed too much money”), shopping for music at big box retail (“it is missing a cultural thing”) and whether or not physical stores can coexist with download stores (“it’s a good question”). Tower Records filed for bankruptcy in 2004 and was liquidated in 2006. Solomon currently operates R5 Records & Video at one of Tower’s former locations in Sacramento. The store is doing OK, he said in an interview after the speech. “We’ve got our heads above water.” (Sacramento Bee)

-- The Raleigh City Council approved a site plan for a new, 5,000-seat music venue in the city’s downtown. The city has partnered with Live Nation, which has promised to bring 20 acts a year to the $2.6 million venue. (NBC17.com)

-- Spotify CEO Daniel Ek will be the keynote speaker at the New Music Seminar on February 2 at the Henry Fonda Theater in Los Angeles. Other featured panelists include Kevin Lyman (president/founder Warped Tour), Rodney Jerkins, Alexandra Patsavas (Chop Shop Music), Derek Sivers (founder of CD Baby) and Justin Tranter (of the band Semi Precious Weapons). In addition, Glenn Peoples (that’s me) will be in the audience. (New Music Seminar)