People making comments at website Tipsity note that the Performance Rights Act would not only make it harder for new acts to break through, it would make it harder for any music to get on the air – and eventually, consumers will pay the price for that which does make it.
The logic is simple – if it costs extra to air recorded music above and beyond what it already costs, broadcasters aren’t going to take chances on unknowns.
Further, they’re going to have to bring in more advertising cash to cover the cost of the music. This would mean either more commercials and less music, or more expensive commercials. In the case of the latter event, advertisers would have to charge consumers more money to cover the increased cost of marketing their wares, so eventually it is the consumer whose wallet takes a PRA hit.
One commenter noted that for years labels have been getting millions of dollars worth of free advertising for their music, but are now targeting radio stations for cash to make up for losses to the MP3 market.
Another, discussing PRA, concluded, “So pretty much, I see little benefit to this bill; it hurts competition and raises prices.”
RBR-TVBR observation: It requires a pretty serious leap of faith to predict that radio stations will either increase spotloads or raise rates in this particular economic climate – it pretty much proves these are private citizens. A better guess, since neither cash-generating option is all that feasible, is that stations will be driven out of music formats or, since there’s only room for so many talk-oriented stations in a given market, off the air entirely.