Instructions for Shoving This NAB Proposal

(#radio, #capitolhill, #musicindustry) So, you actually thought there was going to be a resolution related to terrestrial radio recording royalties in the US?

Come young lad, witness these extreme loggerheads and rethink that opinion.  It turns out that the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the musicFirst Coalition can’t stop fighting, and any overtures are mere invitations for contentious debate.

Maybe an NAB “proposal” seemed ridiculous, though musicFirst is claiming that an agreement was actually ironed out in July.  “This is demonstrably false,” quipped NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith.  “If this were true, why would our two sides have continued with negotiations in August, September and October?”

But the saucier details are coming from other channels.  Early Tuesday morning, we reported details of the compromise resolution from the NAB Board of Directors that would effectively concede royalties for a few prize nuggets.  That includes the successful inclusion of FM radio chips in phones, and the abolishment of the Copyright Royalty Board (for terrestrial broadcasters, that is).

Yet, not everyone is so thrilled with that idea.  Some station owners speaking with Digital Music News hate the concept of a performance royalty on recordings with a passion – and are loathe to give even an inch.  That inch – in the form of a 0.25 percent revenue compromise to start – is not a door some of these terrestrials want to crack.

You know what they say about giving an inch…


6 Responses

  1. TALK time Mr. NAB

    Then let’s petition to have music REMOVED from radio.Let them all go to TALK and see how far they get. For providing initially 100% of radio’s platform, all we songwriters and musicians have been getting for the last 20 years is 2.5% of their earnings (crumbs) and the finger. We easliy deserve 20%.

    Now that these spinless corrupt major labels arein the same boat as us, there is an uproar – Ha! Ha!

    • Russ

      It’s a two-way street.

      Two of the top 3 stations in just about each market are news or talk stations. If I owned a station and had to pay another fee to play music, I’d probably reduce the amount of music by about 5 minutes per hour to compensate. The listener will probably not notice, and if the “jack” formats are any indication, most listeners would prefer a little more interaction with the air personality than simply having a jukebox – they have ipods if they want more rock and no talk.

      How reducing the amount of music played per hour helps musicians escapes me. And you know what is going to get cut – the non-hits. So the rich musicians get richer and the poor muisicians get poorer.

      The “ideas” the labels and musicians are coming up with to increase revenues are only serving to reduce revenues.

      As long as there’s sex and drugs, I can do without the rock and roll.

  2. An Indie

    Yeah, radio is going to cut those “non-hits” alright…’cept if you look at their playlists you’ll notice there are nearly zero “non-hits” for them to cut.

    Radio has, for a decade plus, filled their playlists with oldies, re-currents, and a tiny handful of megastars’ hits. That they continue to hide behind “the promotion” they offer as excuse #1 why they shouldn’t be compelled to pay the very same royalty that is paid by radio stations worldwide not to mention webcasters, satellite radio, and other “non-interactive, non-terrestrial” broadcasters (who, by the way, studies show play MUCH, MUCH more new and “non-hit” music) is downright comical. How much “promotion” do the really think they’re offering Nirvana (or insert your favorite oldie band in Nirvana’s place).

    Because they include in their programming only artists that are already rich (and therefore a PRA will only make already rich artists richer) is not a worthy reason for them not to compensate the performing artists that create the programming they use to generate audiences and sell billions in advertising.

    That they think “audiences won’t notice” them playing one less song in their already advertising bloated programming hours shows just how out of touch big, corporate radio is with music audiences today. Keep it up and continue to watch the rest of your audience move to Pandora, Sirius XM, East Village Radio, etc. There are plenty of better outlets for music discovery but so long as these REAL promotional vehicles are paying royalties so too should stagnant old AM/FM radio.

    • Visitor

      99.8% of the audience doesn’t care about music discovery, they are satisfied to hear new music by serendipity.

      The biggest billing radio stations are talk stations. The biggest billing muisc stations generally have well-known hosts that attract the listeners more than the music programming does. The music is important, but not as important as you think.

      Year in year out the consumer tells the music indistry they are charging too much for the product, and every year the music industry whines about how hard it is to sell product and then raises its prices again. It’s always somebody else’s fault that they can’t make as much money as they want. Pathetic.

  3. Milt

    Music is cheap – supply exceeds demand.

    I have no problem with musicians trying to limit supply – it’s their music after all.

    The problem is when they try to coerce demand. That makes them the ultimate hypocrites.

  4. Jeff Tweedy

    And if the whole world’s singing your songs
    And all of your paintings have been hung
    Just remember what was yours is everyone’s from now on

    And that’s not wrong or right
    But you can struggle with it all you like
    You’ll only get uptight