As you would expect, the radio blogosphere has picked up on the potential NAB deal with RIAA/musicFirst on the Performance Rights Act (PRA) and is running with it. More precisely, the bloggers are telling broadcasters to run away from it.
“In a list of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard of this one takes the cake,” said blogger Mark Ramsey of the proposal to require FM radio chips in all cell phones. He insists there’s no data to support the idea that consumers want radio in the cell phones.
Ramsey also doesn’t think much of the idea of resolving AFTRA issues over streaming spots so radio stations can stream their broadcast signals 100% the same on the Internet. The blogger argues that the attraction of the Web is that it is different from over-the-air broadcasting.
In his blog, veteran radio observer Jerry Del Colliano takes issue with the NAB reversing course and trying to cut a deal for fear that a more costly PRA will be passed into law otherwise. “While imposed rates are a possibility, I must tell you that I cannot find one person close to this situation who thinks radio needs to settle right now this minute,” he wrote.
Del Colliano has praise for Savannah Music Group, which has revolted against the RIAA and wants to be able to opt-out of any PRA scheme. “Independent and new artists could suffer from this tax thus making the benefits of a quick radio tax outweigh the risk of making it harder to break new acts,” according to Del Colliano. In fact, he’s preparing a follow-up blog piece to argue that the money should flow the other way: from the labels to radio.
RBR-TVBR observation: We’ve noted before that the NAB will need to build a broad consensus across the radio industry for any deal with RIAA/musicFirst. If you look at the voting thus far in the RBR-TVBR poll this week, you’ll see that there is broad agreement on the issue, but not in support of what NAB is doing. We encourage you to cast your vote, place a comment below or email a longer “Viewpoint” submission to [email protected].