That’s what the NAB CEO told attendees at The Radio Ink Hispanic Radio Conference Wednesday. LeGeyt was the keynote speaker to start the show. He not only said the NAB is winning the performance royalty fight against Joe Crowley’s musicFIRST, he said the NAB is winning decisively.
When asked if he could guarantee there would never be a tax on radio to play music, here’s how LeGeyt answered that. “While I would never guarantee anything in Washington, you (radio) have an incredible team telling a powerful story for radio. The NAB is equipped to go toe-to-toe with Crowley.”
Crowley is a former Congressman, well versed in how to work the system in Washington. He’s been very aggressive in coming after radio to get the industry to pay artists directly to play their music, often trotting out big name artists such as Gloria Estefan to claim how the system, as it’s set up now, is so unfair.
LeGeyt was asked why more artists do not come out more in support of radio, other than what we hear them say at their live concerts, when they thank radio for playing their music. Most artists you ask will tell you they will never have a hit song until its played on radio. LeGeyt said the NAB has purposely avoided that tactic.
LeGeyt said artists call the NAB all the time wanting to do testimonials in support of radio. He said the NAB has chosen a strategy of not getting into an arms race with musicFIRST. “I don’t think it’s all that effective. I’d rather stay in our lane.” And, that lane is working Congress and explaining to them the benefits radio brings to artists with its free promotional value. “Once you boil it down, the members of Congress get it.”
The Local Radio Freedom Act has 215 co-sponsors, according to LeGeyt. That’s a non-binding resolution. A bill circulating in The House to add the performance royalty tax, has 35 supporters. LeGeyt says he expects a Senate Bill to pop up, pushing the tax, in the next couple of weeks.
LeGeyt has always said the NAB is willing to sit at the table and discuss the issue as long as it includes streaming fees now being paid by radio. It can not be a completely new fee, that’s a non-starter.
The Radio Ink Hispanic Radio Conference continues today in Miami.