Friday, July 11, 2014

Musician's Coalition Ads Target Lawmakers

Music groups are pressuring Congress to back down from a pledge to keep AM/FM radio stations from paying musicians, according to The Hill.

“It’s hard enough to make a living as a musician — and even harder when your own representatives in Congress won’t support your basic right to fair pay for your work,” new ads from music industry groups said.

The campaign from musicFirst, which includes music industry trade groups like the Recording Industry Association of America, the American Association of Independent Music and SoundExchange, asks lawmakers to remove their names from the Local Radio Freedom Act.

The resolution, which would prohibit "any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge” on local AM/FM radio stations, is supported by a majority of the House.

MusicFirst is targeting signatories of that resolution, starting with Reps. David Price (D-N.C.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), through social media campaigns and newspaper ads in their districts.

Some in the music industry worry the overwhelming support for the resolution could be a roadblock for a music licensing reform bill down the road.

When the Local Radio Freedom Act hit 218 co-sponsors in April, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) hailed the milestone as indicative that there is no need for new fees for radio stations.

Read More Now

In the upcoming 40 Most Powerful People in Radio issue (release date July 28), RadioInk asked Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman about the issue.

Bob Pittman
He said he recognizes music companies have a unique model -- instead of spending billions of dollars on advertising as a consumer packaged goods company would, they use free radio airplay to ‘advertise’ their music. "In the grand scheme of things we think it’s a fair trade. However, as the new digital world emerges and we all wrestle with how to build a sustainable market for both digital music and radio we have been open to putting everything on the table in a more defined relationship, and in the interest of building that digital market we have been willing and open to putting broadcast radio revenue into the mix to make it happen. As with any new technology or opportunity, we have to be careful not to be too rigid about our past as we look to the future. We’re committed – and always have been — to working with both artists and music companies to find the best way to align the interests of radio, music companies, artists and music fans."

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