The people back free music on radio


75% of those surveyed on the topic of music and radio agreed that there should not be a performance fee attached to radio airplay, according to a poll commissioned by the NAB conducted among likely voters during the last week of August. And another senator signed up to support free local radio.

Additionally, participants in the poll were asked if they agreed with the statement, “Songs played on the radio help drive music sales, generating record sales annually for performers.” 85% said that they did, with 64% going so far as to say they strongly agreed.

The opposition to performance fees was almost as rock-solid, with 60% saying they were definitely opposed to imposition of a new fee.

NAB EVP Dennis Wharton said, “This survey demonstrates that the more Americans know about a proposed performance tax, the more likely they are to they oppose it. Simply put, a performance tax is bad for free, local radio. It’s bad for radio’s 235 million weekly listeners. And it’s bad for the legions of new and legacy artists whose careers were launched and nurtured by free radio airplay.”

Meanwhile, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) signed on as a supporter of the Local Radio Freedom Act, bringing the Senate total to 26. The LRFA has 251 supporters in the House, where 218 constitutes a majority.

In advance of the Senate Judiciary Committee mark up of PRA, the NAB put ads in three Capitol Hill news organs, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal’s Congress Daily, and POLITICO, which read in part, “Americans understand fairness. And the overwhelming majority agree that local radio stations should not be taxed for playing music just to subsidize the failing business model of the foreign-owned record labels.”

RBR-TVBR observation: It looks like there is going to be a spirited floor battle over PRA, which is now out of committee in both houses of Congress. The NAB has lined up superior forces in the House, possibly enough to stop the bill regardless of what happens in the Senate.

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