AfterDawn: Tech news

Music industry targets radio station piracy - demands more royalties

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 23 Jun 2008 22:37 User comments (38)

Music industry targets radio station piracy - demands more royalties Seeing music executives with their hands in somebody else's pocket is nothing new. Still it's noteworthy when they decided to reach a little deeper, which is exactly what they're hoping to do with radio stations across the US. According to representatives of the musicFIRST coalition, which represents the RIAA and a number of songwriter groups, AM and FM broadcasters are pirates and need to pay royalties.
"It's a form of piracy, if you will, but not in the classic sense as we think of it," said Martin Machowsky, a musicFIRST spokesman. "Today we gifted them a can of herring, about their argument that they provide promotional value. We think that's a red herring. Nobody listens to the radio for the commercials."

As usual, what's really at stake is a new revenue stream. For most businesses a new revenue stream drying up means revamping the business to accomodate the new market. But in the alternate reality where the music industry exists it's all about mandatory payments. Currently the broadcasters don't pay performance royalties under the premise that they're promoting the music. In recent years that's been a sore point for music executives. With the advent of internet and satellite radio they're getting used to collecting that money for every performance.

Thanks to the hard work of the usual cast of California lawmakers it seems they're going to be getting those additional royalties, which would amount to billions of dollars annually. Bills are expected to clear the judiciary committees in both the House and Senate, after which recent history tells us it's a short journey to being signed into law.

In reality the important question isn't whether radio stations should pay, but whether they can. Like the traditional distribution channel of CDs, terrestrial radio stations aren't as popular as they once were. Radio has to deal with the increased competition from not only satellite and internet broadcasters, but also P2P music downloads.

The bottom line is every day there's less money in recorded music. What are the labels and songwriters going to do when there are no more pockets left to stick their hands into.

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38 user comments

123.6.2008 22:55

Go figure, a business model going the way of the dodo. In its struggle to stay alive it blames radio stations, whom the RIAA pays in a round about way, for piracy.

Whats next? Suing (or at least blaming) artists for pirating their own music?

223.6.2008 23:27

Quote:
Whats next? Suing (or at least blaming) artists for pirating their own music?

Why not?

They've pulled every other dirty trick in the proverbial book.

323.6.2008 23:34
varnull
Inactive

Well that should be real easy for the radio stations to deal with eh? There are heaps and heaps of unsigned acts out in the wild.. It's time they got the airtime they deserve, and lets leave the likes of the fat rich asses like Bono and Gene Simmonds to MTV where they belong.. along with all the other examples of the old, pointless and greedy.

When was the last time you turned on the radio anyway?

423.6.2008 23:50

Quote:
Seeing music executives with their hands in somebody else's pocket is nothing new.
Fantastic opening line. That pretty much sums it up.

Solomon often said "Nothing new under the sun."

It still holds true.

524.6.2008 1:00

When are these clowns gonna realize the only people they are hurting are themselves with this crap. Like the man said, the business model they promote has gone the way of the dodo and yet they insist on clinging to it's dying, rotting carcass just like the scavengers they are. The radio stations should ban together and counter sue those whips for their stunts. "What are they gonna do when there are no more pockets left to pick?", is a good question. Between suing people for sharing music and using illegal tactics to do so, lying to the artists in regards to what happened to the monies collected, supposedly, for them and wanting a piracy tax put on the internet so they can get the money so rightfully denied them by the file sharing, now they want to force the radio stations to pay them even more? C'mon, it's about time that someone forced the DOJ to look into this crap. If it were Microsoft they'd be all over it like white on rice, so why don't they go after these idiots and investigate their practices, actually see if there is any reason for them to be suing people just because they think that they are sharing.
It's time for the RIAA to wake up and realize that they can only push their customers so far before they start pushing back and if no one buys their music what's next a tax on people who aren't buying their garbage, just so they can keep themselves in cocaine, chicas, condos and Cayman Island bank accounts.

624.6.2008 1:43

ok i am not complaining but i live in a 1 room condo with a wife & baby & pay for my iTunes or my dvd;s & i pay for my XM radio but i also listen to free radio & the execs who own 2 -3 10 room multi million homes want that free radio to eat it? because they want to fill there Ferrari & Lamborghini & hummers with gas to drive now here & they want more $ i laugh! I just paid $48 to fill my POS Dodge Neon & they want more $! I just don't know what to say! I don't feel too bad & i love it when guys like kid rock stand up & say F U to these Execs!

724.6.2008 1:47
wolfcraft
Inactive

I AM SO ANGRY that I had to join AD just to post.

This is imbecilic!!! I have never heard anything so GD stupid in my entire life. AM and FM radio exists for the very REASON to promote! In the beginning it was Tommy Dorseys Big Band Hour, now its Lil Wayne. Where are these artists going to be once radio plays thier songs less and less? They had better think and take a damn stand against the RIAA as its always been a medium of FREE promotion for them. I have to wonder if the music industry's head is up it's ass at this point.

So youll have to pay (as a channel/company station) for each song, each time its played..so less music will be played..then what? hour long infomercials that used to air on Sundays in drive-time M-F???
Or will there be a straight quota fee on a monthly basis.. "You may play this song 130 times this month" so when someones 12 year old daughter calls and gets on the radio requesting Mariah Carey's newest theyll be dissappointed because its number 131.

One last thing.. who should really worry is any band/artist NOT in the top 40 right now. As without radio there will be LESS sales of CREAM, or BOB MARLEY. I cant wait for the next generation to have absolutely no idea who The Beatles were and......have no interest in knowing who they were.

Thanks music industry, thanks!

824.6.2008 3:15
nobrainer
Inactive

Great lets isolate indie from the radio stations by only allowing media airtime that is worth paying up for ala RIAA marketed crud, or am i just being cynical here?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Jun 2008 @ 3:19

924.6.2008 4:15
OzMick
Inactive

A few choice quotes come to mind:
Don't bite the hand that feeds
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth
Cutting off the nose to spite the face

Free promotion anyone? How the hell else do the record execs think anyone ever hears new music? Or are they going to give payola another roll of the dice, I guess it only cost them $30m a couple of years ago.

1024.6.2008 6:53
wolfcraft
Inactive

No nobrainer not being cynical, I would have never heard of Inspiral Carpets, The Beautiful, or Radiohead if it werent for free FM radio stations. True I think maybe someday AM and FM will go the way of analog tv. But it must be replaced with the next step up and for no cost to the listener, as it was. If not, that will surely not only kill the music industry as a whole, but the whole ideal of musical entertainment. We live in sad times.

Next there will be a royalty fee for singing in your shower.

1124.6.2008 8:15

Hmm... no wonder MTV doesn't play music videos anymore!

I hope everyone has a CD player or iPod for their cars, or likes listening to AM talk radio! It's ironic that radio stations would be killed by the very thing they were created for.

1224.6.2008 9:03

Last time I checked, consent contradicts theft or piracy. The labels spend million of dollars in promotional materials and actual promoters just in attempt to have their music played. And how many artists have asked for radio to stop playing their music??? The labels are using everyone else to prop up their failing business model.

1324.6.2008 9:24

Hahahaha..these guys are so pathetic it's funny.

What's next? Taking money from 12 year old kids because they were caught humming a Britney Spears song in public.

Oh and don't get me started on the sleazy government officials who I'm sure are getting nice fat pay checks passing these stupid laws that cater to these slime ball organizations.

1424.6.2008 13:27

Martin Machowsky is right. No one listens to the radio for the commercials. They listen for the music. If the radio stations decide to tell the RIAA to stick it where the sun doesn't shine and quit playing the music then where will any artist be heard. The music industry made a lot of money off of me from 1992 - 1999 when "Club Dance" was on The Nashville Network. When TNN dropped Club Dance and other programs that featured the songs being performed I drastically reduced my music purchases from $ 300.00 a year to $ 20.00 a year. Now the RIAA wants radio to pay for playing the music !!!!! Well I think that radio will go to an all Talk format and the RIAA will disentegrate from within.

1524.6.2008 14:38

Quote:
It's a form of piracy, if you will, but not in the classic sense as we think of it," said Martin Machowsky, a musicFIRST spokesman. "Today we gifted them a can of herring, about their argument that they provide promotional value. We think that's a red herring. Nobody listens to the radio for the commercials."


wow, good job Mr.Machowsky. are all the execs as clueless as you. radio promotes music, dumb sh*t. not ads like you want it too, but music. radio has promoted artist, talk show guys, news,comedians,and people since its design in the 1900's.

you pulled this stunt before and lost.

1624.6.2008 15:07
blueroad
Inactive

i wonder about that machoski himself..does he belive the s*** that comes out his mouth or he says what he has to to get paid..

1724.6.2008 16:46

I havent listened to terrestrial radio since getting XM in 2003. Listening to 15 to 20 minutes of commercials an hour made my ears bleed. Let the RIAA fark themselves. When the music industry dies they will have no one but themselves to blame.

1824.6.2008 17:36

Originally posted by blueroad:
i wonder about that machoski himself..does he belive the s*** that comes out his mouth or he says what he has to to get paid..
Worse....he gets paid to believe it.

1924.6.2008 19:07

Hmmmm...Someone should make a list of all of the ways the labels are trying to collect royalties. It is getting almost downright silly what they try to do. Then again, they have to have money to buyoff all of those lawmakers.

2024.6.2008 19:11

Hmmmm...Someone should make a list of all of the ways the labels are trying to collect royalties. It is getting almost downright silly what they try to do. Then again, they have to have money to buyoff all of those lawmakers.

2124.6.2008 19:22
cousinkix
Inactive

Broadcasters should stop playing music for an enrtire 24 hour period. Lets cut off their money for one day. They should open the phone lines and let angry listeners give the music mafia an earful of hate. Use the time to promote live concerts which benifit the artists instead of the RIAA crybabies...

2225.6.2008 1:08

Noth'n new here,this happened around 15 years ago in NZ except it was aimed at tv stations basicly doing a top 20-40 of videos on a saturday,the Recording morons wanted money for showing the vids,the tv exec's said up yours & stopped broadcasting the show after 10 years,the upshot of all this, a massive down hill slide in sales of music because there was no idea who the latest artists were,can't remember how long the vids were off air at a guess it took another 3-5 years before the idiots came to an agreement & let the vid show continue,funnily enough it gave NZ Artists a chance to get heard instead..lol.

Edit: the point is regardless of the medium it's still free advertising for the recording industry,(QUOTE: Red from that 70's show "dumbass" )

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Jun 2008 @ 1:10

2325.6.2008 1:41

so eat your partner in crime in order to stay alive long enough to die a worse death?

W T F?!?!?!?

2425.6.2008 3:18
OzMick
Inactive

I think I've figured it out. The RIAA isn't after money out of this at all, it is probably all just so they can implement a pricing policy whereby they can control exactly what is played on the radio stations. If they decide that their new artist can be played for "free" but everything else costs too much to bother with, the labels have effectively managed to create a system whereby they can control what is played without any need to resort to bribery/payola, and maybe make a little bit on the side.

Hopefully the regulators can see past the thinly veiled bribery. What used to be a bribe is now free. What used to be free now costs money. And it is all above board and in fact passed as law.

2525.6.2008 3:25

Originally posted by OzMick:
I think I've figured it out. The RIAA isn't after money out of this at all, it is probably all just so they can implement a pricing policy whereby they can control exactly what is played on the radio stations. If they decide that their new artist can be played for "free" but everything else costs too much to bother with, the labels have effectively managed to create a system whereby they can control what is played without any need to resort to bribery/payola, and maybe make a little bit on the side.

Hopefully the regulators can see past the thinly veiled bribery. What used to be a bribe is now free. What used to be free now costs money. And it is all above board and in fact passed as law.
unless they want to buy out the radio stations and plunk money into them I do not think so...

2625.6.2008 5:08
OzMick
Inactive

Quote:

unless they want to buy out the radio stations and plunk money into them I do not think so...
I'll link again, but make it a bit more obvious this time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payola

It is illegal to pay for play unless it is clearly identified, and they don't want to give the impression of ramming the same crap music down people's throats every hour. Three of the big four have all been found guilty of it in the past 3 years.

By making what they want to promote free vs everything else, they've effectively made a bribe without money ever needing to change hands, and when there isn't that much money already in running a radio station, free "popular" music would seem mighty tempting. I wouldn't hesitate to put money down as this being the motivation. I guess we'll see soon enough.

2725.6.2008 5:25
nobrainer
Inactive

@ OzMick

payola eh, you are right about the RIAA wanting to keep a hold on distribution and air time as this has been their reason for tighter ip laws and tough royalties for indie bands, it is total control that they want so they get to have their sticky figures in all pies, the way top stop them is to boycott all their media and hardware.

so boycott;

SONY, UNIVERSAL, WARNER GROUP, EMI.


Damning Sony payola memos: "I'm a whore this week"

Originally posted by hyper:
Paul sez, "60-page PDF of letters and emails among major labels and stations negotiating pay-for-play deals of the sort for which Sony agreed to pay a $10M settlement yesterday. Highlights: Epic lists exact payouts for 75 spins based on size of market. Quotes: 'I'm a whore this week, what can I say?' 'Get a power rotation commitment before we commit.' 'Don't want to position Duran Duran with an 80's club ... they are still just as relevant in 2004.' And of course the inevitable 'Sent from my Blackberry Wireless Handheld.'" It's awesome: this lists DJ after DJ who accepting paltry little tchotchkes in exchange for their integrity and mortal souls. They're not just whores, they're cheap whores. 1.1MB PDF Link


This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Jun 2008 @ 5:27

2825.6.2008 11:46

I will add to what has already been said. Not only are they using this type of crap to prop their failing business models. They are using this to keep promoting their bogus plans for their artist. Anybody that knows music well enough can clearly see the complete lack of good music. People don't want to spend $10 - $20 on garbage. What they need to do is allow artist to be their self instead of the today's traditional studio gangsta or stereo type of what today's youth is. We have absolutely no creativity, or originality. You have artist scared to be who they are so that is one issue. They other is the high cost for CD's and that is a partial source for why we have piracy. They really need to adapt to what the public wants rather then putting their hands another man/womans pocket.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Jun 2008 @ 11:48

2925.6.2008 19:02
ku4hx
Inactive

If the listening public is so outraged by this, why are there no organized protests and boycotts? A few loud voices do not a trend make and judging by the very few comments posted on all the boards I frequent, the will to organize and "reform" the RIAA, and other organizations, simply is not there.

If those of you who are so vocal about this would begin to organize with your peers, you might get something done. It wont happen over night or maybe in ten years, but the tact does work. It's worked for civil rights (started with a simple bus ride protest), it's worked for gay rights, and it can work here. But you have to do more than bitch; you have to act. And leave your sob stories, excuses and victim stories in your head. Action requires work; the lazy need not apply.

I no longer listen to commercial radio; I stopped years ago. I prefer other forms of aural entertainment both at home and during driving. But apparently, judging from the venom flowing here, I'm in the minority. And that's fine. But I also have no gripes with the RIAA ... they simply don't impact my life... I neither buy nor steal music. Basically because I simply refuse to line the pockets of those you so strongly oppose.

So why don't those of you that are so angry do some reading up on the tactics of civil rights movement, Vietnam war protests, gay rights lobbying and the like for some needed direction. Because guys, if all you're going to do is bitch, moan & groan, and fuss & fume then, well, you may as well just be quiet because all your doing is looking helpless and stupid as you plop down your very hard-earned money for that music CD you just can't live without.

3026.6.2008 11:59

Originally posted by ku4hx:
If the listening public is so outraged by this, why are there no organized protests and boycotts? A few loud voices do not a trend make and judging by the very few comments posted on all the boards I frequent, the will to organize and "reform" the RIAA, and other organizations, simply is not there.

If those of you who are so vocal about this would begin to organize with your peers, you might get something done. It wont happen over night or maybe in ten years, but the tact does work. It's worked for civil rights (started with a simple bus ride protest), it's worked for gay rights, and it can work here. But you have to do more than bitch; you have to act. And leave your sob stories, excuses and victim stories in your head. Action requires work; the lazy need not apply.

I no longer listen to commercial radio; I stopped years ago. I prefer other forms of aural entertainment both at home and during driving. But apparently, judging from the venom flowing here, I'm in the minority. And that's fine. But I also have no gripes with the RIAA ... they simply don't impact my life... I neither buy nor steal music. Basically because I simply refuse to line the pockets of those you so strongly oppose.

So why don't those of you that are so angry do some reading up on the tactics of civil rights movement, Vietnam war protests, gay rights lobbying and the like for some needed direction. Because guys, if all you're going to do is bitch, moan & groan, and fuss & fume then, well, you may as well just be quiet because all your doing is looking helpless and stupid as you plop down your very hard-earned money for that music CD you just can't live without.
Why i don't is simple i need my job. i have a life, and its harder than hell get another job. what would i tell my employer, im going to protest against the riaa.

you see its not life threating for me, if my life and the life of my friends were at risk everyday. that requires immediate action.

i should not have to waist my breath with fools as the RIAA, the government should deal with it. unfortunately with corrupt politicians every where you look, its hard to strike against them.

3126.6.2008 13:59

Quote:
Originally posted by ku4hx:
If the listening public is so outraged by this, why are there no organized protests and boycotts? A few loud voices do not a trend make and judging by the very few comments posted on all the boards I frequent, the will to organize and "reform" the RIAA, and other organizations, simply is not there.

If those of you who are so vocal about this would begin to organize with your peers, you might get something done. It wont happen over night or maybe in ten years, but the tact does work. It's worked for civil rights (started with a simple bus ride protest), it's worked for gay rights, and it can work here. But you have to do more than bitch; you have to act. And leave your sob stories, excuses and victim stories in your head. Action requires work; the lazy need not apply.

I no longer listen to commercial radio; I stopped years ago. I prefer other forms of aural entertainment both at home and during driving. But apparently, judging from the venom flowing here, I'm in the minority. And that's fine. But I also have no gripes with the RIAA ... they simply don't impact my life... I neither buy nor steal music. Basically because I simply refuse to line the pockets of those you so strongly oppose.

So why don't those of you that are so angry do some reading up on the tactics of civil rights movement, Vietnam war protests, gay rights lobbying and the like for some needed direction. Because guys, if all you're going to do is bitch, moan & groan, and fuss & fume then, well, you may as well just be quiet because all your doing is looking helpless and stupid as you plop down your very hard-earned money for that music CD you just can't live without.
Why i don't is simple i need my job. i have a life, and its harder than hell get another job. what would i tell my employer, im going to protest against the riaa.

you see its not life threating for me, if my life and the life of my friends were at risk everyday. that requires immediate action.

i should not have to waist my breath with fools as the RIAA, the government should deal with it. unfortunately with corrupt politicians every where you look, its hard to strike against them.
I couldn't agree more. But that is how and why they get away with these type of issues. They know people are to busy and most not financially well off to stop and show the proper interest in stopping the shitnanigans they are allowed to do. Politicians only care about money and success. So because the RIAA & MPAA can use their money backing to move things in their favor, it makes these issues easy to triumph. Then the kicker is they get to make up new laws and have them passed again while people are busy with their lives. With issues like that it's hard to sit here and say lets go protest because you have more to lose than them. The 60's - 80's were easier times to protest because the economy was not so hard on your pockets.

3226.6.2008 14:32
nobrainer
Inactive

eek

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 Jun 2008 @ 14:37

3326.6.2008 14:33
nobrainer
Inactive

eek

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 Jun 2008 @ 14:53

3426.6.2008 14:35
nobrainer
Inactive

@ spydah

they also have teams of bloggers who's job it is to ridicule anyone, wishing to tell the truth about their business practices, advertising contracts that can be used as leverage, teams of lawyers and the DMCA.

The best way to stop them is to actually name the companies behind anti consumer, instead of the front that they hide behind, riaa/mpaa, ect.

BOYCOTT SONY, UNIVERSAL, WARNER GROUP, EMI. THE RIAA.

BOYCOTT SONY, UNIVERSAL, WARNER GROUP, DISNEY, PARAMOUNT, FOX. THE MPAA.



This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 Jun 2008 @ 14:54

3530.6.2008 9:25

I hope they get what they demand. That will be several more nails in their coffin. Just like the AP news they might find out how truely unimportant they are. (AP warned bloogers not to quote them or they may get sued. Bloggers have stopped using them for quotes). That would force the radio industry to play independent music. Who knows, that might start a music rennassance leaving the RIAA in their empty sandbox.

I rescently was listening to XFM at a party. Two bands caught my attention enough that I wrote down the band names. Apparently they are independent since they are not listed where you can buy CDs. I will check them out on a site that sells HQ independent tunes for less. I pretty much avoid RIAA music if I can, but I don't mind spending money like this where the artist gets a bigger cut for what I pay. I also pay less for 320 or lossless quality. I think it will be the independents that will save music. The RIAA can't identify good music any more than they have a clue how to market what they do have.

I would like to see some radio stations be more geared for promotions. Play a set of artists that you can purchase from one location. Play the add at the end of the set with a discount code. The buyer gets a discount and the the radio station should get a kickback. Then radio stations might start to play music that sells. That wouldn't be so bad. The music programmers would actually have to know what they were doing.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Jun 2008 @ 9:53

3612.7.2008 18:09
ku4hx
Inactive

Well I waited a while to allow plenty of time for responses. I see not too many responded so I'll take that as an indication I was mostly correct in my comments and assessments. After all, silence (which by the way is deafening here) is always taken as agreement.

As is the usual case, and I'm as guilty as the next, it's just easier to let the other guy do the hard work and then reap the benefits. But people have their reasons and some are valid. In fact, for over three decades I was a corporate "yes" man to keep my job. However, all I had to swallow was my company's position on their business and if I took their money, I did things their way.

And although people shouldn't have to waste their breath over anything, I still maintain if all your going to do is bitch, I can tell you nobody of any importance is going to hear a word you say. Why should they? You have no sway in their lives either personal or professionl. In fact most will laugh and I suspect the RIAA is laughing at all the discontented folk who just can't seem to find time to do anything about the things they feel are so unfair. But hey, who the h3ll am I to judge when I don't even buy music or listen to music radio. That's my personal stance. I simply got tired of feeling I was feeding the fat cats so I quit doing.

The truth is I feel I've said enough about this and the fact is nobody is listening to me. But that's ok, because when I sign off forever to this thread, I'll still not be feeding the fat cats, I have a full, rich life with my family of several generations, and I have more and better things to do that waste my time on something that has no effect on my life.

So Adios my friends, and keep the faith. Maybe somebody, somewhere will really challenge the RIAA with more than angry words on a forum far far away.

3712.7.2008 18:48
varnull
Inactive

OOO.. at least you are keping your money in your pocket instead of giving it to these fat cats. I'm currently trying to find the publisher rights holders details for my music which I intend to re release totally free under the creative commons.. and because it is known music from a known act wait for the RIAA trying to sue me for doing them out of their cut of nothing.

While I enjoy your tirade you do sound a little like the trolls you find who say "either get out on the streets and get arrested or STFU" What does that ever achieve? A few choice words on a forum can do more damage to credibility and reputations than you can imagine. We don't just come here, we visit other places, talk to real people, write blogs and articles for other sites, some of us even write to our elected representatives... without much hope of any result because we don't have the $$$ to put in their back pockets..

oh BTW.. I count 15 lines.. http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/2487 .. see 4.1 ;)

3813.7.2008 4:41

Quote:
What's next? Taking money from 12 year old kids because they were caught humming a Britney Spears song in public.


The corporate execs have bought into Gordon Gekkos' famous line

"Greed is good"

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