So what’s the deal? Big foreign record labels want more money. So they’re asking Washington to force radio stations to give it to them by creating a new performance fee—even though the radio industry already pays hundreds of millions every year in royalties.
Good question. For decades, radio was greatly appreciated by the labels for getting their artists’ music out to the public. But now the labels are desperately looking to compensate for the record industry’s inability to adapt to the growing number of streaming services.
Radio creates fans. Fans who purchase albums, attend concerts and buy merchandise—the profits of which go to the labels that, we assume, compensate their artists fairly, right?
But to a larger extent, radio is the soundtrack of our lives. We get an invaluable source of news, traffic, weather and, of course, unforgettable moments underscored by amazing music.
Now, all of a sudden, the labels think this system—which has helped produce the most successful music industry in the world—is broken. But is it?
So radio already pays back in lots of ways. What would happen if the performance fee were instated?
A backyard barbecue or a day at the beach just wouldn’t be the same without the sounds of local radio.
Instead, you’d probably hear more talking or more ads.
That means less time for music (which the artists sure wouldn’t enjoy).
Fewer interviews with your favorite artists. Less airtime for local charities.
And eventually new fees could silence smaller stations altogether.
Don’t let the big labels turn the volume down. Save the kinds of moments that only free radio can provide.