Tonight’s main event: a rumble to end all rumbling, a match to end all matching... (it’s not that exciting but I’m gonna keep going)...
In the red trunks, weighing in at an even two-hunnie pounds... the musicFIRST coalition, best known for its mean right hook aimed at getting legislation passed to force U.S. radio stations to pay performer royalties (on top of the current songwriter royalties) for AM and FM bands! Supported by friendly musicians like Christina Aguilera, Jimmy Buffett, Celine Dion, Don Henley, Wyclef Jean, John Legend, and Jennifer Lopez, as well as philanthropic organizations like the RIAA and Sound Exchange, it’s hard to see what’s not to love about musicFIRST!
In the other corner, the challenger sporting the blue trunks, weighing in at a lean 195, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is set to “aggressively fight RIAA's proposed performance tax on local radio stations”! With NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton saying things like “Congress has long recognized that radio airplay of music generates millions of dollars in revenue for record labels and artists” and “were it not for radio's free promotional airplay of music on stations all over America, most successful recording artists would still be playing in a garage,” it looks to be a heated and protracted affair.
Looks like the musicFIRST website isn’t pulling any punches, repeatedly referring to radio as “Corporate Radio” (with Capital Letters) and posting a mysteriously dead link citing a January 2007 study by the University of Texas at Dallas claiming “radio play does not have the positive impact on record sales normally attributed to it. Instead it appears to have an economically important negative impact, implying that overall radio listening is more of a substitute for the purchase of sound recordings that it is a complement.” Meanwhile, the NAB points out that purported musicFIRST supporter John Legend has voiced a radio PSA thanking radio stations for their role in promoting his music. So what now University of Texas at Dallas? And John Legend, what the fuck side are you on? Billy Bragg wants to know, the NAB wants to know, I want to know, Marvel Comics wants to know, and YACHT wants to know too.
Little Tony is taking side bets over by the slot machines, but the fact that musicFIRST addresses Corporate Radio and NAB reference local stations makes me wonder if these guys are really even in the same arena (I'm broadcasting from abroad). Anyway, I hope they do such a great job at getting legislation passed we get another royalty collection company so they can kill terrestrial radio just like they want to with internet radio.
So, which side are you on?
No, not you. I still want to know about John Legend. He’s standing behind you.