As we reported yesterday, after years of working the halls of Congress, the NAB has secured a majority of House members in support of the Local Radio Freedom Act. The Act is intended to block any new royalty payments imposed on stations. The musicFIRST Coalition says radio spent more than $15 million on the effort and will spend any amount to lobby rather than pay artists. Here’s the Coalition’s full response.
“While the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) talks about “local” radio, American radio is dominated by a handful of billion dollar companies who own and operate a majority of stations across the nation. Most “local” stations are actually owned by large conglomerates, which for years have been homogenizing content and cutting costs by firing local talent. These large broadcasters also happen to be the NAB’s largest members.
Rather than paying music creators for their work as streaming services and broadcasters overseas do, the NAB has spent more than $15 million dollars on lobbyists to get Big Radio’s interests heard on Capitol Hill, including on this misleading anti-worker resolution. That’s more than twice the amount that small U.S. broadcasters would have to pay in royalities under the small business licensing caps in the bipartisan Ask Musicians for Music Act.
Big Radio is big business. The NAB has shown that they are willing to spend and to say anything to prevent large broadcasters from having to pay artists for the right to play their recordings on terrestrial radio. By following the money and seeing who the NAB really represents, we’re confident that Congress will see through their smokescreen and do right for American music creators.”