Look. You know I don’t like to get political. Politics are very serious and I like to keep things, for the most part, pretty lighthearted around here.
But, I come to you now and ask for a moment of you time and attention to explain something very very important. As I’m sure most of you realize by now, radio is my life. It’s how I make a living, it’s what I love to do, I live it, breathe it, I eat, sleep and drink radio.
Well folks, radio is under attack at the moment. We need you to Help Save Radio!
The big international record companies are asking Congress for a handout (H.R. 848), and as a part of that bill they are proposing a “performance tax” that would force radio stations to start paying for the songs they play.
Why is this a bad thing? Wouldn’t it get artists more money? NO! It would get the record companies more money. Why would we want to give anymore money to companies that underpay and overwork artists as is? Why should we give anymore money to an industry that turned a blind eye to this new emerging technology called “the internet” and as a result has seen a 24% drop is CD sales since 1999? It’s been 10 years and they still haven’t got it!
So now, since the the music industries business plan of doing nothing for the past decade hasn’t panned out so well, they’ve gone another route. Instead of dealing with the massive mistake they made, they’re trying to squeeze money out of radio. See, here’s the thing though: radio doesn’t make any money from the music they play. They make money from advertising revenue, a monitory source that has been slowly drying up for broadcasters in the past few years.
So, what this actually mean? Well, if the bill passes it would mean that radio stations wouldn’t be able to afford to air music and the ones that could would have an even more limited selection. While I love radio I am also critical of it, and I do think radio programming needs to be more creative and inventive, but severing the connection that listeners have to music is just criminal.
There need’s to be an emphasis on localism in radio, that much is clear. Stations that just have a computer playing songs on shuffle and have no live DJ, those are stations that could bite the dust and I wouldn’t even bat an eyelash. But for each of those stations there is a good local radio station with a full staff that works everyday to entertain you.
Greater Media has put together a website to help all of us become educated on the proposed Performance Rights Act. Check out Help Save Radio to learn how you can get involved and keep local radio an active and vibrant part of your community.