I still listen to music on the radio. Country 102.5, Magic106.7 or Oldies103.3. My wife listens to win and has won us our Honeymoon to Tampa on WROR and this past weekend my daughter got to meet Disney Start Selena Gomez with KISS108.
Like many businesses commercial or “terrestrial” radio has been affected by the economy. Advertising revenue, the lifeblood of stations is down. Many stations have made drastic cuts eliminating local personalities for syndicated programming. It also affects the amount of community service and PSA’s that a station can afford to give.
For more than 80 years, radio and the recording industry have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship: free play for free promotion. And it works. It’s a relationship that has sustained businesses on both sides.
In fact, some estimate that radio’s free promotion of artists translates to as much as $2.4 billion annually in music sales for record labels and artists. And this doesn’t even include the enormous revenues they receive from concerts and merchandising.
Music labels and record companies have suffered due to the many file sharing programs, IPods and other technology changes. Songwriters and performers are not making what they once did. The record labels and songwriters have convinced a US Senator and US Congressman to file a bill called ‘‘Performance Rights Act’’.
There are currently two bills pending in Congress that would levy a performance tax on local radio – H.R.848, sponsored by Rep. John Conyers (MI-14) and S.379 sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (VT). Performance Rights Act – Amends federal copyright law to:
(1) grant performers of sound recordings equal rights to compensation from terrestrial broadcasters;
(2) establish a flat annual fee in lieu of payment of royalties for individual terrestrial broadcast stations with gross revenues of less than $1.25 million and for noncommercial, public broadcast stations;
(3) grant an exemption from royalty payments for broadcasts of religious services and for incidental uses of musical sound recordings; and
(4) grant terrestrial broadcast stations that make limited feature uses of sound recordings a per program license option
Additionally, anti-performance tax resolutions have been introduced in the House and Senate in support of local radio. In the Senate, Sens. Blanche Lincoln (AR) and John Barrasso (WY) introduced S. Con. Res. 14, and in the House, Reps. Gene Green (TX-29) and Mike Conaway (TX-11) introduced H. Con. Res. 49. Both are known as the Local Radio Freedom Act. Many members of Congress already support local radio and resolutions against the performance tax. Others still need to hear your voice.
If you’re like me and you want local free radio to continue follow the link below to Country102.5 and you can click on letters to inform your Congressmen and Senator that you support local free radio.