musicFIRST Not Impressed With Local Radio Freedom Act


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.”



  1. The NAB leaving fake comments bashing articles that tell the truth is the musical equivalent of the NRA. Thanks musicFIRST for supporting the people who actually make the music. Radio One and Clear Channel, etc could careless about us.

    Sincerely a real person, music maker, and publisher with 15 years in the business who used Google to find this.

  2. MusicFirst complains about big radio, but what about the music industry? Two foreign owned conglomerates dominate the music industry: Sony in Japan and Universal in France. Those two conglomerates own more of the music industry than all of the big radio companies combined. They say radio doesn’t pay artists, but in fact any radio station that streams pays artists. Radio follows the law, and pays everyone who they’re supposed to pay. That will never be enough for MusicFirst.

  3. Real Terrestrial Radio!
    Is and has always been the biggest supporter that music artist have. Artist have stopped at radio stations begging them to play there music in past years. You are nobody if no one can hear you. Terrestrial Radio stations owners today for the most part really do not have a broadcast background or a clue what to do which is truly a sad affair. It all goes back to the FCC when Bill Clinton deregulated the same. FCC START checking the credentials again and make sure that people buying a radio station and the people they hire understand the basics of commercial radio and that is to serve the community which the AM or FM signals cover. Terrestrial Radio…AM and FM can be a very important part of a community in which they serve. Too many small market even medium market radio stations have gone dark because of all the excessive fees that have been placed on them. Give real radio a chance again. Try it you might like it.

    • Some terrestrial radio station owners do have a broadcast background. There are still plenty of small broadcasting companies in the business, and ours is one of them. We would be hard pressed to survive, though, if the bloodsuckers in the music industry got their way. They may have their sights on Eyeheart and Cumulus, but a lot of us who are in the business because we love it and are trying to do right by our communities would be hurt if Big Music wins this fight.


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