Performance hearing postponed


The House Judiciary Committee will hold off on Performance Rights until 3/12/09 in deference to British Prime Minister Brown. Steve Newberry and Larry Patrick will speak for broadcasters. Meanwhile, the NAB found nine more Reps who oppose the measure. They oppose it by supporting the Local Radio Freedom Act, and they bring the total number of legislators signing onto it to 135. The new signees include Paul Broun (R-GA), Andre Carson (D-IN), Jerry Costello (D-IL), Joseph Courtney (D-CT), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Timothy Johnson (R-IL), Steve Kagen (D-WI), Frank Lucas (R-OK), and Adrian Smith (R-NE).

The American Federation of Musicians is also working Capitol Hill in favor of the Performance Rights Act. “We have AFM musicians coming from all over the country to make their voices heard in Washington,” said AFM President Thomas F. Lee.  “This piece of legislation is crucial to all musicians, and now is the time for passage.  We urge Congress to make the Performance Rights Act a top priority this session.”

All of which inspired researcher/consultant Fred Jacobs to use his blog to wonder if musicians have lost their minds.  Jacobs did an open-ended study asking people to list all the ways they discover new music, allowing them to pick more than one. We can throw out the 5% who claimed no interest in new music. 57% learn from friends, 33% learn from movies, 33% more from television. Music television was selected by 28%.

Highly touted sources aren’t highly used: iTunes weighed in with 19% (behind a respondent’s children, at 23%), YouTube hit 17%, Pandora and similar websites hit 13%, and satellite radio was way down at 11%. (Several other sources ranged from 19% to 3%.)

FM radio was at 86%.

“Sheryl, Emmylou, Patti, and all the geniuses at musicFIRST:  Do you really want to mess with this arrangement?” asked Jacobs, referring to Crow, Harris and LaBelle. “Do you really want to start making it next to impossible for many commercial stations to continue playing your music?”

RBR/TVBR observation: Historically, labels have often scandalized themselves not by demanding payment, but by actually breaking the law by paying broadcasters to air their wares. Jacobs’ numbers confirm that the airwaves are still the place to be.