Bronfman Defends Performance Rights Bill; Opposition Grows
March 3, 2009 at 5:15 AM (PT)
Discussing the performance rights bill currently before the Senate that would compensate artists and their record labels when their music is played on the radio, WARNER MUSIC GROUP CEO EDGAR BRONFMAN said, "It is right and proper that we get paid for our content."
BUSINESSINSIDER.COM reports BRONFMAN argued radio is not such an important promotional tool that artists don't need to get compensated, BRONFMAN spoke at MONDAY's DEUTSCHE BANK Media and Telecommunications Conference. He also made note of the argument that the U.S. is one of only five countries, including NORTH KOREA and IRAN, which doesn't pay its artists performance royalties when their music is played on the radio. He said it was important that the bill get passed but noted that he didn't know if that was possible.
BRONFMAN also repeatedly said WARNER MUSIC was a good position, given the company's increasing market share ever since he and his team of private-equity firms acquired the company from TIME WARNER. He's confident that WMG will continue to grow market share and be in good shape when the music business rebounds.
And he said WMG's lenders have "voiced no concerns with [the company's] balance sheet and ability to meet [its] debt covenants."
Speaking of debt, BRONFMAN also dashed some poor questioner's dream of a merger between WMG and EMI. He said there were no prospects of reviving discussions with EMI at this time.
Nine More Lawmakers Express Opposition To The Performance Fee
Nine additional lawmakers have signed on to a bipartisan U.S. House of Representatives resolution opposing the introduction of "any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge" on local radio stations.
The growing support for The Local Radio Freedom Act now stands at 135.
In an interview, Country star BRAD PASILEY expressed his appreciation for radio and discusses his relationships within the radio industry. "I have so many friends out there," wrote PAISLEY. "I think back over the years now, and it's amazing how much of my life has been impacted by radio people."
The Local Radio Freedom Act, unveiled last month at a Capitol Hill event hosted by the FREE RADIO ALLIANCE, was introduced by Reps. GENE GREEN (D-TX) and MIKE CONAWAY (R-TX).