Positive And Negative Reactions To Clear Channel-WMG Deal
September 13, 2013 at 4:38 AM (PT)
YESTERDAY, (NET NEWS 9/12), CLEAR CHANNEL MEDIA + ENTERTAINMENT and WARNER MUSIC GROUP entered into a "landmark partnership aligning the two companies' interests in driving digital growth, increasing radio listenership, breaking new music and creating new marketing opportunities for established artists."
Some reacted positively, with ENTERCOM Pres./CEO DAVID FIELD reacting to the deal by stating, "The CLEAR CHANNEL/WARNER MUSIC agreement is another important step forward in establishing a new business model that aligns the interests of artists, labels, consumers and broadcast radio. While not without its costs and compromises, it represents a smart, bold and visionary approach that will foster further innovation, growth and value-creation for all stakeholders."
U.S. Senator JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY.), who along with Senator HEIDI HEITKAMP (D-ND), reintroduced the “Local Radio Freedom Act” (NET NEWS 3/6), issued a positive statement about the CCM+E and WMG deal:
"I'm pleased CLEAR CHANNEL and WARNER MUSIC reached an agreement that will benefit radio broadcasters, the music industry and consumers across WYOMING and the nation. This accord is a good example of the power of the marketplace to solve complex business and legal issues involving music licensing. It's clear that the last thing we need in the world of broadcasting and music is a government imposed mandate on broadcasters to pay royalties on the performance of sound recordings. Today's agreement should help the radio industry continue to provide local communities with news, weather, sports and entertainment and also ensure it delivers digital services to listeners anywhere, any time."
But others expressed displeasure.
MUSICFIRST COALITION Exec. Dir. TED KALO said, "While we applaud WARNER MUSIC and CLEAR CHANNEL for working together on a deal that allows more artists to share revenue and we appreciate the forward leaning, pro-artist sentiments expressed by CLEAR CHANNEL’s leadership, these deals are no substitute for a real, industry-wide AM/FM performance right.
"Unfortunately, CLEAR CHANNEL and its trade association, THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS, have been the principal roadblocks to ending the loophole that allows AM/FM broadcast radio alone to take music without paying artists or labels. Negotiations are good -- but no one can say they are a complete solution when only one side at the table has rights to deal. And no one can dispute that, if creators had such a right, all creators (not just those on labels that negotiated a deal) would be more justly compensated.
"The NAB faced a brutal week on CAPITOL HILL, with lawmakers pointing out its hypocrisy in arguing that video creators must be paid for their work while music creators should not. Isn’t it time for the NAB to be consistent and principled rather than hypocritical?
"Only a legal performance right will provide artists, including non-featured artists, the security they deserve: the right to be paid for their work. And only a legal right will create reciprocity for foreign radio airplay so that artists can receive an estimated $100 million a year in income from overseas.
"If CLEAR CHANNEL’s leadership is as forward thinking and pro-artist as their statements suggest, we hope they will at long last publicly break from the NAB’s obstruction of a performance right. Mr. PITTMAN says that artists and broadcasters need to be 'more supportive of each other’s needs.’ Supporting a real performance right would be a good place to start."