Warfield Jr. Testifies Before Congress On Performance Fees
July 31, 2007 at 8:05 AM (PT)
NAB RADIO BOARD Second Vice Chair CHARLES WARFIELD, JR., who is also Pres./COO of ICBC BROADCAST HOLDINGS, testified today before the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property in a hearing on local radio performance taxes.
In his opposition to performance fees, WARFIELD said, "We consider [it] a performance tax" on local broadcasters; NAB strongly opposes any such proposal. We oppose a performance tax because compensation to the record labels and artists is provided under the current system, and the effort to upset the careful balance -- envisioned by Congress and beneficial to all parties for the last 80 years -- is misguided."
A survey done by Critical Mass Media shows that, far and away, FM radio is the dominant medium for listening to music.
WARFIELD pointed to the existing system as working because, "the promotional value that the record labels and artists receive from free airplay on local radio stations drives consumers to purchase music. A survey done by CRITICAL MASS MEDIA shows that, far and away, FM radio is the dominant medium for listening to music. In fact, 85% of listeners identify FM radio as the place they first heard music they purchased. With an audience of 232 million listeners a week, there is no better way to expose and promote talent. As TOM BIERY, SVP/Promotion for WARNER BROTHERS RECORDS said, 'It is clearly the number-one way that we're getting our music exposed. Nothing else affects retail sales the way terrestrial radio does.'"
While admitting that "the recording industry has seen its profits dip in this new digital world," WARFIELD noted, "in no way can that decline be attributed to radio. Just the opposite, local radio is free advertising for record labels and artists, and provides the best and most direct way to reach consumers."