Tony Bennett Latest To Endorse Performance Fee
May 1, 2009 at 5:14 AM (PT)
TONY BENNETT is the latest artist to say that he ought to earn more money, reports U.K.'s THE GUARDIAN. BENNETT has called for performers to receive royalties when their music is played on the radio, rather than just the songwriters who are remunerated.
"There's an army, a huge army, of great artists that just get paid for the date," BENNETT said, referring to musicians who are only paid for the recording session. "The radios don't want to give up one penny."
"Performers and songwriters profit from physical releases as well as digital sales, and legislation also permits both groups to royalties from Internet radio, satellite radio and cable television," continued THE GUARDIAN. "But AM and FM radio remain the decades-old exception. Every time BENNETT's rendition of 'I Left My Heart In San Francisco' is played on the radio, only songwriters GEORGE CORY and DOUGLASS CROSS cash a check.
"BENNETT was speaking at an event for MUSICFIRST COALITION, the lobby group for artist compensation.
"Broadcasters have reacted with incredulity, emphasising the promotional role of radio. They claim that while a song played on the airwaves does not necessarily promote the songwriter, it is an advertisement for the performer that drives listeners to buy music and concert tickets.
"If this is passed, there would be a lot of radio stations that would actually stop playing music and switch to all-talk formats to avoid paying these onerous fees," said NAB EVP DENNIS WHARTON."