Florida congressional members back free radio

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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.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.