GMR Doesn’t Care You’re Suffering Through A Pandemic


Broadcasters airing music in the GMR library were notified this week that they’d have to pay 20% more for that music as of April 1. Current licensing agreements expire on March 31st. The new deal, if you choose to accept it, is for 9 months.

The RMLC was not involved in any negotiations with GMR on the new higher price. It was dictated directly from GMR and it is non-negotiable.

The Radio Licensing Music Committee has been locked in litigation with GMR for over four years since they stormed onto the scene as a new PRO. Since the court fight began GMR has been offering radio stations extensions of 6 or 9 months and negotiating the terms directly with stations and radio companies. COVID delayed the court case which was originally scheduled to go to trial at the end of 2020. The discovery process will not even conclude until the end of 2021 now due to COVID.

GMR was founded in 2013 by Azoff and its rosters includes: Drake, Bruce Springsteen, Bruno Mars, the Eagles, and Smokey Robinson.



  1. We’ve never gotten the PROPER invoice on GMR’s first attempt by email. It’s like computer “bots’ are running GMR. I have in my email files, however an invoice for (5) other stations that are not related to mine, and know exactly what they were charged one year ago. Wonder how many other stations get ours? This year, once again, they sent the wrong invoice our way and had to be corrected. WE have had to write them back every time saying, “This is NOT us.” This is the most disorganized extortion organization I’ve seen in 16 years of owning radio.

    All of the PRO’s seem to think that radio is a license to print money, while they forget it’s the individual station programming “recipes”… especially in the more interesting and better-run small markets that bring listeners in, not JUST the music. You can get the music anywhere..but RADIO is where talented people weave it all together with other elements like conversation, listener calls, local topics, even jokes…(and the list of elements goes on) to make an interesting product. It’s not JUST music people tune-in for, it’s the hard work of talented programmers, hosts, and others which WE, the owners and programmers hire and pay to create listenable, enjoyable RADIO only PART of which is…the music. Of course, we can’t expect PRO’s to understand the talent it takes to make radio happen. They think it’s just the same old recordings played over and over and over.

  2. “The biggest problem with the Performance Rights Organizations is that they refuse to provide stations with a list of the songs they represent.”

    They all provide song lists at their web sites. If you think PROs are bad, try dealing with SoundExchange for streaming fees. Imagine if you needed to provide the same detail for what you play on air.

  3. Irv and the rich guys “showing their hand”. 20% increase while radio revenue is in a free fall. Screw radio. It reminds me of the scene in Goodfellas…”F**k you! Pay me my money!” Hope the courts take into account of this move during a national crisis. 4% a year increase, while revenue goes down. Guess they are trying to put all of us out of business. I for one would be willing to pull all their songs off the air, but a request for a list goes unanswered.

    • I did get their song list. Thousands of songs that were usually side B on the record. Or from the hundreds of records that were worthless. One station had a huge pile in the basement that I was assigned to haul off. I sorted them one by one and perhaps a half dozen worth keeping. That’s the junk that GMR has licensed. Furthermore these heartless (insert the word you want) are to cheap to even use the USPS to mail an invoice. They want electronic billing so the money just comes in. I figure they do a pretty sorry job trying to find the dead or lost artists heirs to they can pay a royalty. They just keep that money.

  4. And where is NAB in all of this? Oh yeah going around congress getting “co-sponsors” for the “local radio freedom” resolution that means absolutely nothing. In some ways maybe a performance tax is something to consider as long as congress then says no more BMI ASCAP GMR Sound Exchange or the next “rights group” that comes along. Just one place, fill out one form, and pay your fee. Then again, Im sure it would get all screwed up.

  5. FCC could consider mandatory posting of all songs licensed by each PRO. I once discovered “Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer” was the only song applicable from one of the services.
    File card pulled. Problem solved.

    • Go to

      If you play classic rock, they represent Springsteen, Petty, Eagles, and Pink Floyd. Hard to do that format without them.

  6. The biggest problem with the Performance Rights Organizations is that they refuse to provide stations with a list of the songs they represent. So if a station believed there were enough ASCAP/BMI/SESAC songs to play that they decided to simply never air a GMR song, they would probably air a GMR song unintentionally and be subject to a $150,000 penalty for copyright infringement.

    While PROs provide a valuable and necessary service to the artists they represent, the heavy-handed, one-sided tactics used by GMR amount to unfair business practices at the least or illegal blackmail at the most. Because GMR knows stations cannot realistically avoid their songs, they force stations to pay their exorbitant fees. This isn’t free market capitalism; it’s extortion. And it’s disgraceful.


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