Handicapping the royalties battle


Analyst at two key Wall Street firms are not expecting the imposition of performance fees on broadcasters anytime soon. Both Victor Miller at Bear Stearns and Jonathan Jacoby at Bank of America suspect that support for such legislation is too small; opposition is already entrenched, particularly in the House where at least 127 members have signed on to support a bill which is would have the equal and opposite effect of a performance fee bill; and while both broadcasters and the music industry have effective lobbyists and natural support on the Hill, squeezing this issue into the shortened workday schedule typical of an election year is deemed unlikely. Miller notes a statistic that will not likely help the recording industry: reports that only about 40% of the cash generated by a performance royalty scheme would likely filter down to talent; the lion’s share would remain in corporate bank accounts.
RBR/TVBR observation: And there you have it. Legislators worried about the difficulties artists have making multiple income streams add up to a living wage should first look into their relationships with the labels before allowing the labels to vampire cash from broadcasters even while broadcasters give their product hour upon hour of free promotion.