Radio stations being charged to play songs?! - U2 Feedback

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Old 06-03-2009, 07:19 PM   #1
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Radio stations being charged to play songs?!

I heard there was a new law in congress that was going to force radio stations to pay the artist for all the songs they play. Already, smaller stations are saying they will go out of business if this happens. Smaller African American stations are especially hard hit. I know the 'pay the artist' thing has gone wild since the knocking of Napster and now people are threatened for listening on the computer and even playlist.com was hit up for it. But really, the radio stations? They have historically been the ADVERTISEMENT for the artist! They introduce new songs and albums, have the artists on the air when they come to town, announce when new albums come out and encourage people to listen and buy. They get free copies of albums intentionally sent out by artists and record companies for the purpose of getting exposure for the songs. In the days before internet, or even TV, this was how people found out about music they wanted to buy, and it still is to a large extent. If radio stations are forced to pay to play songs, will they? Or will some go under or just forget it? How will this affect the already lagging music industry?

Another undesirable result of this is that no radio station can afford to buy every song by every artist, meaning they will be offered packages by people who buy up rights to certain batches of songs and artists. This will only lead to radio becoming more boring and generic. Already I avoid my classic rock station because it's always just a handful of the same old songs by the same old artists, little variety, even among bands. I doubt they even have a playlist of 100 songs sometimes, they repeat the same ones so often. This means that no one is going to be able to dig deep for 'deep cuts' that were not in the package deal and many songs and artists will never be heard on the radio again. That is not a good advertisement for them, or good quality listening for us. Even older songs can sell when people hear a song on the radio and think, hey, I'm going to go buy that.

So my point is not only will this suck for stations and fans I can see it hurting more artists than it helps. This is bad for everyone.
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:35 PM   #2
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With the exception of a few markets, radio is already dead.

A few morning shows, a few talk show, and very few real radio stations are surviving... the rest have already died or clear channel has turned them into a 10 song rotation jukebox.

Once again thanks Napster...
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:10 PM   #3
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I've never listened to the radio for music, ever, at any point in my life.
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:04 AM   #4
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Once again thanks Napster...
Studies so far have suggested otherwise. People didn't suddenly stop listening to radio because Napster or P2P networks were around. Often times it was rather the radio stations' habit of playing less and less songs and repeating the hits all the time.

Both radio stations and the record industry like to blame the internet and mp3 for their misery when in fact they can blame themselves just as much.
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:45 AM   #5
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Studies so far have suggested otherwise. People didn't suddenly stop listening to radio because Napster or P2P networks were around. Often times it was rather the radio stations' habit of playing less and less songs and repeating the hits all the time.

Both radio stations and the record industry like to blame the internet and mp3 for their misery when in fact they can blame themselves just as much.
Yes, that was meant to be slightly tongue in cheek. But I do think P2P has a big part of the blame as to why the industry as a whole doesn't make money. And when you don't make money you have no time for the little guy. So the Brittneys, the Rhiannas, and Nickelbacks are all we'll see and hear, and the rest we have to really search for... I just have the feeling that there are a lot of talented Ryan Adams-types that we will never hear from because they just can't make a living these days, but they would have been great underground artists in the 90's.
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:13 AM   #6
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:15 AM   #7
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I thought that radio stations have always paid to play songs.

Oh well, shows you what I know!
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:49 AM   #8
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I actually started listening to a certain station again b/c someone else bought it and they play about 1/5 as many commercials as the other stations, there is NO talking other than announcing the songs or a new album/tour, and they do play a good variety relative to the other stations here.

I don't get why an artist would require a radio station to play their songs...it's like free PR! The station I listen to sometimes throws in songs that local bands give them.
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:58 AM   #9
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I don't get why an artist would require a radio station to play their songs...it's like free PR! The station I listen to sometimes throws in songs that local bands give them.

Exactly! That's the whole ignorance of the fee charging idea and the point I was trying to make. Ever since it's been around, radio has been a free advertisement for artists and how people found out what songs they liked and wanted to buy. I really even used to think that was the main purpose of radio!

I don't know for sure but I don't think it's the artists who are doing this, it's likely the RIAA again trying to find more ways to get money, after attacking the internet market, playlist.com, and even local bars who play music via loudspeaker or DJ. The methods used are only killing music more and more. For decades, no one charged for radio or bars, and the artists were still rich. Again this is only going to limit the songs played, as someone above said it's being reduced to a 10 song jukebox. Next thing you know they'll be sueing wedding singers and kids playing tapes at middle school dances.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:16 PM   #10
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I don't get why an artist would require a radio station to play their songs...it's like free PR! The station I listen to sometimes throws in songs that local bands give them.
It's the labels, not the artists. AND the thinking is that certain artists songs will be cheaper than others so that it gives unheard of bands the same chance at exposure than the Britneys' and Nickelbacks'...
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:18 PM   #11
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I still listen to radio, especially when I'm walking (can listen to baseball too). I don't have an iPod , honestly I don't have too much desire for one. Just one more tech aggravation. If someone would do it all for me then maybe I did hook up my HDTV and HD box all by myself so maybe there's hope.

There's one independent station that I can still listen to and enjoy-other than that there are just too many commercials and top 40 fests. Radio will probably be a thing of the past in a few years, just like newspapers
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:23 PM   #12
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i used to listen to howard stern on my way to college in the morning before he went to satellite.
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:22 PM   #13
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I listen to radio for music. That is why I prefer my Zune over my iPod. The Zune has a very good fm receiver. The music I listen to is on public radio. We have a good station in the L A market, KCRW.

I am using my iPhone to listen to radio more and more. With wi-fi there are apps that let you listen to almost any public station on the air. Many play non-clear channel rotation music.


But back to the topic of this thread. It looks like it will not pass in the House

Quote:
Radio stations cheer Congressional opposition to new music fees

By Kristen Letsinger
Thursday, June 4, 2009

Saul Young/News Sentinel
A proposal to tax songs aired on radio hit a huge snag Wednesday in Congress, with a growing number of House members supporting the resolution against new broadcasting fees. The apparent defeat was a victory for Knoxville-area radio stations.

Some 220 House members of 435 total expressed their disapproval of the measure that would require radio stations to pay royalty fees on music played over the airwaves.

The resolution against any new fees is nonbinding, but indicates a lack of full Congressional support to pass legislation that record companies have been trying to push through the House.

House Resolution 848, known as the Performance Rights Act, calls for radio stations to pay the royalty fees to record companies for playing artists' music on air.

Stations with gross revenues of less than $1.25 million a year would have the option of paying a flat royalty fee of $5,000 per year,

while public broadcast stations could pay $1,000 per year.

Those fees may not seem like much of a burden. Once the fees are imposed they will try to ratchet them up.

I think we are better with no fees, the current system.
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:27 PM   #14
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I was under the impression that radio stations have always have to pay for playing any recording longer than 30 seconds? They would pay via a monthly fee of sorts to a 3rd party business who then credits the record labels and their artists. That's not how it works already?
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:42 PM   #15
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I think that is true for 'everybody else', the 30 second rule. RIAA charges a fee, annual licence fee, that is distributed to artists base on some kind of survey of how often a song is played.
I know eating establishments that play music, and even business that have music on their "hold" telephone button are hit up to pay the fee,
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Old 06-04-2009, 05:50 PM   #16
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Yes, that was meant to be slightly tongue in cheek. But I do think P2P has a big part of the blame as to why the industry as a whole doesn't make money. And when you don't make money you have no time for the little guy. So the Brittneys, the Rhiannas, and Nickelbacks are all we'll see and hear, and the rest we have to really search for... I just have the feeling that there are a lot of talented Ryan Adams-types that we will never hear from because they just can't make a living these days, but they would have been great underground artists in the 90's.
Well, a recent study under the authority of the EU has also asked users of P2P networks whether their buying habits have changed. And the result was that through P2P they became more aware of independent or non-mainstream artists who they bought albums from or supported in other ways. I don't see that much of a difference between the time pre-P2P and now in regards to how the labels promote artists. Back then just like today they are promoting the cash cows, i.e. mainstream artists who are already well known, while the rest can only hope to get some listeners.
Services like Jamendo etc. have helped independent music much more than the major labels will ever do. And those are living off, in part, the P2P networks and the internet.
Back in the 90s, before the internet was something everyone used, the makeup of popular music was not that much different.
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:09 PM   #17
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Well, a recent study under the authority of the EU has also asked users of P2P networks whether their buying habits have changed. And the result was that through P2P they became more aware of independent or non-mainstream artists who they bought albums from or supported in other ways.
I don't doubt that P2P has given greater exposure to more independent musicians, but I would have to call bullshit on buying habits changing. I know several music lovers that were buying hundreds of discs a year and now don't pay a dime.

Like I said, yes more artist are getting exposure because there's no consequence of buyer's remorse. Of course MySpace and streaming could take care of that...

But there just some artist that will not get paid these days, period. They can't tour enough to offset the costs and live. And songwriters or studio musicians? Forget it, unless you are writing or recording for one of the teenyboppers, or the babyboomer crowd your career is over.

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I don't see that much of a difference between the time pre-P2P and now in regards to how the labels promote artists. Back then just like today they are promoting the cash cows, i.e. mainstream artists who are already well known, while the rest can only hope to get some listeners.
This is true, to an extent... Now one could argue the amount of talent then vs now, so there is no real way to discuss this truly objectively, but I do think it was much easier for a band to develop back then vs now. The 80's you were given about three albums, if you didn't make it, you were out. The 90's they at least gave you about two... Now it's one or your out.

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Services like Jamendo etc. have helped independent music much more than the major labels will ever do. And those are living off, in part, the P2P networks and the internet.
Back in the 90s, before the internet was something everyone used, the makeup of popular music was not that much different.
I'll have to check out Jamendo, never heard of it...

But I'm not sure about the 90's makeup not being different than now. The 90's were an interesting decade so maybe it's not a fair comparison...

But in the states you could turn on the radio(in any decent market) hear BritPop, then grunge, then a grunge rip off, then electronica, then hip hop, and industrial music all within an hour. Now, it seems like it's either R&B/ Hip Hop, Pop, or generic rock.
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:29 PM   #18
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I thought that radio stations have always paid to play songs.

Oh well, shows you what I know!
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Originally Posted by Cleasai View Post
I was under the impression that radio stations have always have to pay for playing any recording longer than 30 seconds? They would pay via a monthly fee of sorts to a 3rd party business who then credits the record labels and their artists. That's not how it works already?
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I think that is true for 'everybody else', the 30 second rule. RIAA charges a fee, annual licence fee, that is distributed to artists base on some kind of survey of how often a song is played.
I know eating establishments that play music, and even business that have music on their "hold" telephone button are hit up to pay the fee,
Yes, terrestrial ("regular") radio stations (and other companies such as the ones deep noted) are (again as deep -- and Cleasai -- noted) currently charged a licensing fee which is then divvied up amongst the songwriters. Only the songwriters get the royalties -- the musicians or singers (even within the same band) get nothing.

Now the fees internet and satellite radio pay (which are higher) go to both songwriters and non-songwriting musicians/singers. (initially these fees were very steep, but I think they have been scaled back a bit or at least the very high fees' implementation has been put off while the issue is being hashed out) Of course, terrestial radio didn't bitch too much about this when it wasn't happening to them.
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:05 PM   #19
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Indra, I think the difference there is that the satellite stations are usually just for entertainment purposes and each station plays one particular genre of music just because they are that type of music (hair metal, hip hop,etc)while most 'terrestrial' stations play the current hits and are the ones who actively advertise the songs for artists. This is why they should not be charged. Most artists throughout the decades would have had no exposure if not for radio.

It used to be 'Video Killed the Radio Star" but these days it looks like both videos and radio are dying together. MTV and VH1 no longer play videos, and radio is turning to mush no one wants to hear.

About satellite- I stopped my subscription when I realized most stations I thought were different and unique were playing the same songs at the same time every day. They were just as canned as Clear Channel, they just used a different bunch of songs so in the beginning they seem like a new and wider variety, but they also become redundant.

Another thing that's sinking is the local morning talk show. One by one they are fading out and being replaced by national syndications, from "John Boy and Billy" to the Fl. lawyer who can't shut up.

I sure hope nothing ever stops college radio, where students can just spin whatever they want and we get the treat of listening to a variety of music.
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:19 PM   #20
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Indra, I think the difference there is that the satellite stations are usually just for entertainment purposes and each station plays one particular genre of music just because they are that type of music (hair metal, hip hop,etc)while most 'terrestrial' stations play the current hits and are the ones who actively advertise the songs for artists.
How do you figure? Radio is not for entertainment and satellite isn't for advertising?

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It used to be 'Video Killed the Radio Star" but these days it looks like both videos and radio are dying together. MTV and VH1 no longer play videos, and radio is turning to mush no one wants to hear.
Internet killed the radio art?
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