RIAA isn’t the only organization hoping to extract royalty payments from broadcasters. The folks who already receive royalty payments from radio, the music composers and publishers, also want more. The Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) has just begun a new round of negotiations and we are told that ASCAP is now wanting broadcasters to have a second music license to cover HD2 (HD3, etc.) signals. ASCAP’s negotiators say they should receive fee payments for those new stations because the only reason most aren’t producing revenues is that broadcasters have chosen to run them commercial-free in an effort to build audiences for the future. When RMLC representatives responded that the stations are mostly running commercial free because there are hardly any HD receivers in public hands, ASCAP hauled out a Parks Associates study mentioned in an RBR/TVBR Intelligence Brief predicting that there would be 30 million HD receivers in the marketplace by 2012.
RBR/TVBR observation: Yes, we and others did publish stories about the Parks Associates forecast and its wild-eyed projections. We expect to hear lots of celebrating from iBiquity and the HD Radio Alliance when they can say with some certainty that one million HD Radio receivers have been sold. That hasn’t happened yet, and iBiquity CEO Bob Struble was quoted in Investors Business Daily just this month putting the number sold in 2007 at around 300,000. Nevertheless, the Parks Associates forecast of 30 million by 2012 began with the assumption that there will somehow be 4.2 million receivers in consumers’ hands by the end of this year – a pretty far-fetched assumption.