It usually takes a high-profile indecency case to get radio into the news section of a major newspaper, but in this case, the tug of war over the Performance Rights Act paved the way in the New York Times. Meanwhile, a Country performing artist underlined the fact that no new media has stepped forward to replace radio when it comes to marketing music.
The NYT article was a pretty straight-forward look at the issue from a lay perspective. It was clearly written for a general audience and did not get into the kind of specifics you’d find in a typical trade article, pro or con.
NAB’s Dennis Wharton was quoted, saying that broadcasters were talking with the labels, but that he wouldn’t characterize the talks as “negotiations.”
One interesting fact – NYT said that an NAB 60-second spot has received 35K airings across the country.
Meanwhile, at a Country Radio Broadcasters event, performer Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn had this to say about the irreplaceable value of radio airplay: “Now as this business changes so much, as our whole business model turns on us and everything is different, and we’re going from CDs to downloads and everything else, but there’s this one huge common denominator. It means more in this format than anywhere else. It’s the one thing that really hasn’t changed. Radio is, and I think will always be, the biggest gorilla in the jungle as far as our business is concerned. You can text and Twitter and Web site your ass off, and it is not going to have one-tenth of the effect of what country radio does coast to coast.”
RBR-TVBR observation: NYT mentioned Billy Corgan’s testimony before Congress on this issue. What it didn’t mention was Corgan’s reluctance or inability to say anything nice about the labels when asked during that event.
And that remains the missing element in the oversight on this issue – the toxic relationship between the labels and many recording artists. How can members of Congress in good conscience propose to dip into radio’s wallet on behalf of recording conglomerates, supposedly on behalf of starving artists, without devoting one single hearing to the fact that the labels so often a big part of the reason the artists are starving in the first place, and on top of that put forth a bill that cuts out the vast majority of musicians anyway?