Congressman Joe Crowley is questioning iHeart’s resistance to paying recording royalties on broadcast radio plays, especially given solid financial earnings.
After iHeartMedia released its Q4 earnings, former United States Representative Joe Crowley, Chairman of the musicFIRST Coalition, issued a statement criticizing the broadcasting giant’s continued resistance to paying recording artists for radio airplay despite boasting successful profits to Wall Street.
“Today, iHeart spent yet another earnings call crowing about its profits to Wall Street, yet even as we speak, the company’s lobbying machine is descending upon the Capitol in a desperate attempt to convince lawmakers that the radio giant can’t afford to pay artists for the use of their music on AM/FM radio,” says Crowley.
“Beyond the blatant hypocrisy of these conflicting actions, it’s downright unjust that iHeart and other broadcasting behemoths have never paid a single penny to the music artists who make their entire business model possible. In every other democratic nation in the world, artists are paid when their songs get played on AM/FM radio.”
“Digital and streaming platforms already compensate artists here at home as well. Despite these facts, Big Radio continues to oppose the American Music Fairness Act — a bipartisan piece of legislation supported by music creators, community broadcasters, and the American public — that will ensure artists are compensated for the use of their work and protect small radio stations by providing them with the predictability and affordability they need to survive and thrive.”
“It’s time to hold greedy broadcasters like iHeart accountable, just as we would any other industry,” the Congressman concludes. “Passing the American Music Fairness Act will level the playing field and do right by both the artists who make the soundtrack to our lives and the small broadcasters who serve our communities.”
The musicFIRST advocacy group has been focused on challenging a status quo that finds US-based AM/FM broadcasting companies paying publishing royalties only. Other areas of interest include standing up for fair pay on digital radio “and whatever comes next” as the music industry navigates new and familiar terrain.