*The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is speaking out about a bill that would require radio stations to pay royalties to singers, songwriters, and performers.
The American Music Fairness Act was announced last year by Congressman Darrell Issa (R-California) and Ted Deutch (D-Florida). As reported by Celebrity Access, the bill would require AM/FM radio broadcasters to pay performance royalties for music played on their stations.
“We all deserve to get paid for our work. Yet, recording artists don’t get paid when their songs are played on FM/AM radio. There is no possible way of saying that what we have now is fair to American artists. Rep. Darrell Issa and I have joined forces with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to bring fairness to the current system,” Congressman Deutch said in a statement last year announcing the legislation.
“This bill will protect the artists we know as they make the music we love. Under the American Music Fairness Act — for the first time, the artists would see a small piece of the massive profits made on the backs of their creative work. It’s time for Congress to tell musicians that we will end the unfair deal AM/FM radio has forced on them for decades,” Deutch added.
The NAB has since been vocal about its opposition to the bill, saying in a statement: “NAB strongly opposes the American Music Fairness Act or any imposition of a performance royalty on America’s local radio stations. For decades, broadcast radio has enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with the music industry, launching and sustaining the careers of countless artists, promoting album sales and streams, and helping to foster a robust music-creation environment that is the envy of the world.”
Per Insider Radio “The main target is larger radio groups. Stations that fall under $1.5 million in annual revenue and whose parent companies make less than $10 million in annual revenue would pay $500 per year in performance royalties. And even smaller stations – those with less than $100,000 per year in revenue – would pay ten dollars a year.”
NAB members are now moving forward with an on-air campaign that aims to educated listeners on the “significant harm” that the proposed royalty fee would have on local stations.
Per the report, “The campaign includes radio spots in both English and Spanish and digital creative that will begin running immediately, calling on listeners to urge Congress to stand up for local radio by opposing legislation that would institute a performance fee.”
“We want to educate our audiences about the damage performance fee legislation would have on radio and our ability to serve tens of millions of Americans every day,” said Salem Media Group CEO David Santrella, who chairs the NAB Joint Board. “Imposing a performance royalty on local radio – on top of the hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties it already pays – would not only mean less music for listeners, but would also kill jobs, punish up-and-coming artists, hurt small business advertisers and jeopardize the public service radio stations provide their communities every day,” said Santrella.