The recording industry is dominated by just a handful of big conglomerates. One of those – Universal Music Group – recently announced a historic year of profits, to the tune of $9 BILLION in 2021. The great irony, here, is that at the same time they are impressing shareholders with their billions, they are asking Congress for a handout. Where will that payday come from? Your hometown radio stations – the same small businesses that are still struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
We all know that the pandemic hit small businesses hard across the country. And when it did, local radio stations – who themselves are primarily small businesses – stepped up. From campaigns like “Operation Gift Card” to one-on-one connections with local business owners, radio stations provided promotion and service campaigns to keep small businesses afloat through the crisis.
And yet, billion-dollar record labels are now coming for local stations’ narrow profits, hiding behind artists as these foreign-owned conglomerates make a cash grab from local radio stations. Their champions on Capitol Hill claim they “are only asking for a penny,” but their proposed legislation imposes burdensome new fees on many radio stations and doesn’t consider the complex music licensing ecosystem.
The typical radio station has five or fewer employees who often take on more than one job to bring you the content you love. Even while confronting their own business challenges, local radio stations are always there for their communities to provide a lifeline.
And, as America’s widest reach medium, radio is a key promotional resource for the small, local businesses that rely on radio ads to get the word out about their products and services.
These relationships with businesses and listeners are why radio stations are so dedicated to serving your community, and why they reinvest profits in programming and public services, such as local news, sports, weather and music. What have the foreign-owned music companies done for your hometown lately?
Tell Congress how much you rely on your local radio stations for news, emergency alerts and a connection to new music and new artists. And ask them to stand up to the global billionaires in the music industry that want to take money and jobs out of your hometown. Take action now!