AFM, A2IM, AFTRA Support SoundExchange Offer To Small Webcasters
May 23, 2007 at 12:16 PM (PT)
The AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS of the UNITED STATES and CANADA (AFM), AFL-CIO, expressed support for a proposal made yesterday by SOUNDEXCHANGE to extend below-market rates to certain small webcasters for the current license period of 2006-2010, in order to give them additional time to develop their businesses under subsidized rates (NET NEWS 5/22).
"Most recording musicians, including royalty artists and session musicians, are entrepreneurs themselves," said AFM President THOMAS F. LEE. "Fifty percent of the royalties paid by webcasters go to performers, and performers surely need that income stream to make it in their own careers. But they also know from experience that it can be tough to build a business, and they are willing to make some sacrifices to give small webcasters the opportunity to grow and make the world of Internet music as diverse and artist-friendly as possible."
In return for below-market rates, small webcasters should file the required reports so performers can be paid.
The AFM called on the small webcasters and SOUNDEXCHANGE to conclude a deal promptly and urged small webcasters to turn their attention to full and accurate reporting of the sound recordings they transmit. "Small webcasters all confirm that they want performers to be paid, but many of them fail to file the reports that enable royalty dollars to flow smoothly to the entitled performers," LEE said. "In return for below-market rates, small webcasters should file the required reports so performers can be paid. Bottom line, musicians' creative work has value and it is important that they be fairly compensated for its use."
Later today, the AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT MUSIC (A2IM) also announced it backed the proposal, which is an extension of the Small Webcaster Settlement Act. "Small webcasters are active supporters of independent music that consumers demand but which is not sufficiently played on commercial, non-terrestrial radio," said A2IM President RICH BENGLOFF. "While it is a sacrifice in revenue for our labels and their independent artists at the moment, it's a sacrifice we're happy to make, as it is an investment in a sector that has demonstrated a commitment to the diverse array of independent music our members and their Independent artists create for consumers."
Meanwhile, BROADCASTING & CABLE reports that AFTRA has also thrown its support behind the SOUNDEXCHANGE proposal. "AFTRA recording artists want webcasters to succeed, especially small niche webcasters who introduce the passion and excitement of diverse forms of music to fans around the world," said AFTRA National Exec. Director KIM ROBERTS HEDGPETH.