The battle over performance royalties seems to be centering on the figure $5K. The musician advocacy says most radio stations would pay nothing more, and the NAB says for a small station, $5K is still a large bill to swallow. The cut for for cutrate royalties is annual revenue of $1.25M or less, and according to musicFIRST, that means 80% or more of all stations in over half of the states. Wyoming has the dubious distinction of attaining a 100% membership in this group (although that number has already been called in to question by at least one radio operator active in the state), and five other states — Vermont, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota and Alaska — top the 90% level. The total percentage of stations in this category is said to be 76.4%.
NAB countered that for a small station, $5K is a lot of money, and it’ll have to come from somewhere in their budget. “NAB is delighted by the growing bipartisan opposition in Congress to RIAA’s attempted fleecing of America’s hometown radio stations. $5K may not sound like a lot of money to a fat-cat foreign record label mogul from Paris, France. But in Paris, Texas, a $5K loss in revenue could threaten a station’s ability to carry AMBER Alerts, emergency weather warnings, and high school football games.”
RBR/TVBR observation: We’d actually like to hear a lot more about how this works, if it ever goes through. We hear about the unsung musicians, non-headliners, who perform on sound recordings, and without whose efforts the music couldn’t happen. Does that mean the guy playing third trombone in the orchestra used for “The Theme From Rocky” gets a check every time a station spins the tune? Somehow, it seems to us that the trombone player will be waiting a long time to see if even a penny makes it past the label executives who DO stand to profit off of this.