On the table at the Future of Audio hearing


US Congress“This is not our parents’ audio market.” That’s how the House Communications Subcommittee is introducing its 6/6/12 hearing on the Future of Audio. The introduction of HD, satellite, internet and MP3, just to name four, have totally remade the business, and the thrust of the hearing is to start trying to understand the current situation.

Among the topics hearing organizers expect to touch on:

* Ownership caps: Has the advent of satellite radio rendered the current local caps obsolete?

* Should restrictions on cross-ownership of broadcast and print be maintained?

* Should caps on radio-television cross-ownership be loosened?

* Is the FCC following the Local Community Radio Act properly, insofar as making sure LPFM, translators and boosters are being treated equally?

* Should manufacturers be required to place FM chips in cell phones?

* Should radio broadcasters pay a performance royalty?

The list of witnesses for this event promises a lively exchange, to say the least.