SoundExchange, Radio Debate Royalty At SXSW
March 19, 2009 at 3:25 PM (PT)
SOUNDEXCHANGE Exec. Dir. JON SIMSON outlined the labels' basic plan of attack in justifying a performance royalty for terrestrial radio at a SOUTH BE SOUTHWEST panel that concluded earlier TODAY (3/19). Called "Should Artists Be Paid for Radio Airplay," According to WIRED.COM, SIMSON basically faced off against SCOTT GILLMORE of EMMIS COMMUNICATIONS.
Among his talking points, SIMSON noted that since radio pays for coverage of sporting events; it should pay for "coverage" of music. He belittled radio's contention of promotional clout by noting that 60% of music aired on radio stations is over two years old. "Do you think THE BEATLES still need promotion?" he asserted. "Radio is selling memories."
He further downplayed radio's promotional strength by citing a study that found satellite radio listeners buying, on average, just three fewer CDs per year.
For their part, GILLMORE and other radio panelists claimed that the COPYRIGHT ROYALTY BOARD is biased in favor of the labels, since the digital performance royalty is pushing many webcasters to the brink of extinction. "We have absolutely no faith [in] the CRB," GILLMORE said. "Broadcasters basically have no leverage there, and we've been able to do nothing in terms of telling our piece there ... it's not a willing seller/wiling buyer exchange there -- it's a government board that appears to be in the pocket of major labels."
SIMSON countered with this parting shot: "This is really about the 20% of stations that made 80% of the $16 billion that broadcast radio earned in 2007, of which they paid zero to recording artists."