MMTC calls for rejection of broadcast radio performance royalties


MMTC / Minority Media & Telecom CouncilThe Minority Media and Telecommunications Council says that the value of airplay is more than enough compensation for labels and artists whose work is played on the radio, and suggests that imposing a royalty would be particularly damaging to minority broadcasters.

Writing for MMTC, Difie Osbourne said, “It is undeniable that radio airplay provides numerous benefits to artists. Broadcasters and artists have a reciprocal relationship because they essentially depend on one another. Those in support of performance royalties ignore the value of this relationship – radio gets the use of music to offer listeners a free service, and artists get free promotion for their music.”

Osbourne noted that radio’s free content reaches 241M people weekly and accounts for $1B and more in annual music sales. Adding a royalty into the mix would put the model in jeopardy.

The dealings between Clear Channel and Big Machine Label Group were mentioned – Osbourne says if it works for those two companies, fine – it’s a private agreement and MMTC has no objection. But the same model will not work for other smaller broadcasters, and MMTC says such an agreement should remain voluntary.

As for minority broadcasters and new entrants into the business, imposing yet another cost on businesses already fighting to survive would be devastating. MMTC estimates that up to 33% of such broadcasters may face bankruptcy should a congressional performance royalty be imposed.

Osbourne closes arguing that broadcast performance royalties ignore the value radio already provides, puts minority stations in danger, and stands with the National Association of Broadcasters in calling for unambiguous opposition to them.