As if radio stations weren’t already besieged by the new era of digital music, iPod-adapted car stereos, and satellite tunes, Congress is now considering a proposal to require local stations to pay musicians before airing their music.
Representatives from Tennessee, California, and New York are at the helm of such efforts that would dramatically change music licensing practices. To them, intellectual property rights are being violated by free AM/FM broadcasts.
Radio enthusiasts, however, think otherwise. And a new study backs them up. A report just out by Nielsen suggests that increased radio airplay has an immediate and dramatic impact on a song’s sales, as well as driving on-demand streaming of the song. In other words, the more a radio station plays your song, the more people will seek it out through paid channels later.
This is the model we’ve known and understood for generations — and is why artists have so eagerly sought radio station air time.
And over 200 members of Congress agree, having signed on as cosponsors for a countermeasure, the Local Radio Freedom Act, designed to prevent any law that would force radio stations to pay performance fees, taxes, or royalties. For Florida’s part, 15 of our members are on board: Reps. Crenshaw, Diaz-Balart, Hastings, Miller, Posey, Wilson, Buchanan, Castor, Southerland, Ross, Bilirakis, Brown, Mica, Ros-Lehtinen, and Yoho.