PRA FM chips fall where they may: Mobile review slams everybody

0, a publication which caters to mobile consumers, enthusiasts and professionals, decided to slam the entire kit and caboodle of industries involved either directly or indirectly in the PRA dispute – and yes, that includes NAB, RIAA and – surprise, surprise – the Consumer Electronics Association.

The article, by IntoMobile senior editor Stefan Constaninescu, is especially hard on RIAA, which alone gets taken to task in the headline: “RIAA demands that your next mobile phone should do FM.” And RIAA also takes a direct hit in Stefan’s opening salvo – he says that RIAA, “…which is known for their uncanny ability to crush the souls of men and their insatiable appetite for the blood of infant children, is proposing that all mobile phones sold in the USA should come with an FM radio, and that because every mobile phone has an FM radio, they should get a kickback.”

The rest of the group is tossed into the mix in due course, unnamed at first. Stefan says the dispute “shows the type of thinking that goes on behind the scenes at obsolete corporations trying to survive the often painful transition that technological advancements foster.”

CEA is dragged in not so much for opposing being dragged into RIAA/NAB negotiations out of hand, but for exposing the author to a particularly nasty cold at its last trade show, taking the event off his annual calendar permanently.

He said the “hullabaloo” has deep roots, then simply quotes standard NAB orthodoxy, saying, “The NAB flat out refuses to pay artists to play their songs on the radio, citing that all that free promotion drives album and ticket sales. Radio broadcasters currently pay songwriters, and that’s it.”

Going forward, he wrote, “If the legislation that the RIAA is proposing passes, then they can look forward to an extra $100 million in their bank account every year. Quite a pretty penny, but do we, the people, really want to keep these dinosaurs alive?”

He concludes that America needs is its own version of a music downloading service such as Spotify.

RBR-TVBR observation: Very funny – really. However, although IntoMobile says it sees dinosaurs all around, is the mobile phone really the asteroid hurtling toward the earth that will bring ultimate destruction to broadcasting, music marketing and distribution and much of the consumer electronics industry? We think it’s quite a bit more complicated than that.

For starters, how are consumers supposed to know what they want to download from their wonderful new music service? Marketing and promotion cannot be erased from the equation, so the issue will move forward whether IntoMobile wants it to or not.

We have to admit though – it is clear that whatever one thinks of NAB tactics, they do not seem to have generated anywhere near the amount of animosity among the consuming public as have the tactics of the RIAA, at least as seen by this publications. Score one for NAB!