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Author Topic: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.  (Read 2930 times)

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Offline DrivestortTopic starter

Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« on: February 22, 2010, 11:08:12 AM »
http://www.noperformancetax.org/


This is something I just heard about today on the radio while driving home from class.


Long story short is that there's bills some people in the American government are wanting to push that would force radio stations to be taxed for playing music, funneling the music to recording companies. Radio stations don't have a lot of profit, and, at least the stations I've listened to, tend to give away a lot of money in various forms, including just plain cash money. They'll almost certainly die or switch to talk radio, all because the record industry can't keep up with the times. They're more or less asking for money because they failed to pay attention to trends.


If you like listening to music on the radio, I think you should take a look at the link.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2010, 12:35:15 PM »
This is a joke yes?

They can't be trying to get this much money out of EVERY revenue source? I mean.. talk about killing the golden goose. No one can be THIS stupid and greedy...

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Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2010, 01:08:06 PM »
Would you care to put money on that?

The recording cartels would charge you for singing along with a song if they could.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2010, 01:10:05 PM »
They (the radio stations and syndicates) should charge the recording industury then.

'Promotion play time' of their records.

Offline September

Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2010, 02:49:24 PM »
We have this in the UK.  Calling it a tax seems a bit misleading since it doesn't go to the government, but to the label (and therefore to the artist).  Shouldn't it more properly be called a performance fee?

Seems like the radio stations are getting something for nothing and they don't want to lose it.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2010, 03:48:22 PM »
We have this in the UK.  Calling it a tax seems a bit misleading since it doesn't go to the government, but to the label (and therefore to the artist).  Shouldn't it more properly be called a performance fee?

Seems like the radio stations are getting something for nothing and they don't want to lose it.

It's something new, and with the way the economy has gone into the crapper over here it's almost certainly going to kill a LOT of radio stations. Think about it. Is it smart to shit in the pool that is some of your best cost free advertising medium?

Offline rick957

Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2010, 04:43:59 PM »
Very few people listen to the radio regularly to begin with, and very few of those people listen to small local stations, which make up only a tiny portion of broadcasters.  Plus, radio play on any station hasn't significantly impacted the success or failure of recording artists in decades; artists get played because they're already popular or already have the backing of a major label.  NPR has nationally-broadcast shows that routinely play music from obscure artists and have little or no effect on their profitability.

Railing against the big record companies isn't necessary anymore, even for dedicated music fans; they just don't matter like they used to.

It's more worrisome to me that music has become a valueless, universally-stolen commodity.  Small artists aren't going to fail because some small local radio station went broke.  They're going to disappear (and mostly already have) because no one wants to pay for their recordings anymore, and live performances and merchandise sales don't add up to a livable wage.  Music is going to become a profitless, free-time hobby for lots of moderately-talented amateurs, while gifted new artists will have no way to reach an audience of any size, until something big changes.  (Kinda doom-and-gloom-sounding, but it's mostly already happened, IMHO.)
« Last Edit: February 22, 2010, 04:48:59 PM by rick957 »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2010, 08:48:09 PM »
I find it amusing that the record companies find it necessary to find new ways to screw the buyers, and squeeze every penny out of their profits through legislating rather than innovation and streamlining. They spend ungodly amounts of money to screw their artists and such.


Offline Valerian

Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2010, 10:40:26 PM »
The real problem with losing small local radio stations has little to do with music.  When the small stations go out of business, they're bought up by communications conglomerates.  It's infinitely cheaper to run such stations with preprogrammed music and no announcers or DJs physically there at all.  You then lose all the charity and community events radio stations traditionally run, but that still isn't the real problem.  It might quickly become the norm to have things such as this happen.

Quote
The radio giant Clear Channel owned all six commercial stations in Minot, North Dakota. None of them broke into regular programming to provide emergency information to the city’s residents. After the town’s Emergency Alert System failed, local officials tried to call the stations–but no one answered. The stations continued to play music piped in from out of state.
The emergency in question was the derailment of a train carrying anhydrous ammonia.  One person died, about 300 needed emergency treatment, and over 1,000 people needed treatment over the next month for related problems.  No one quite knew what was happening, and calls flooded the 911 operators, who urged people to tune in the designated emergency broadcast station -- which continued to play preprogrammed music because no one was at that station (or any of the other five area stations) to answer the panicky phone calls of residents and the authorities.

This happened eight years ago, and the last lawsuit (out of hundreds) in connection with the accident was only settled earlier this month -- many of which would never have been filed if the residents had known about the ammonia and been able to take the necessary simple precautions to avoid injury.  Right now, this is a relatively unusual situation, but if we start losing radio stations by the dozens or hundreds (and, incidentally, the related jobs, which we can ill afford), this could become the norm.  Simply being able to find out if that storm raging outside has turned into a tornado or not might quickly become very difficult without those "small local stations."

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Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2010, 10:45:16 PM »
The record industry wants to kill everyone in general.


Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2010, 01:59:17 AM »
I recall something to the effect that one of the earlier mouthpieces of the RIAA had spent years to actively screw out some very sick artists out of their medical benefits because they'd have to spend money. (Wish I could recall who and which company, sadly my rabid Anti-RIAA friend has dropped off the edge of the map..he could tell you ALL the evil they've done to get the last red cent they felt they were owed)

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2010, 02:49:47 PM »
We have this in the UK.  Calling it a tax seems a bit misleading since it doesn't go to the government, but to the label (and therefore to the artist).  Shouldn't it more properly be called a performance fee?

Seems like the radio stations are getting something for nothing and they don't want to lose it.

You don't get it.  The actual artist (Unless he/she IS the recording company, a few bands are) would NEVER SEE a single pence. Period.  And the Radio Stations are doing bands/artists a FAVOUR by putting out their music in a free format for people to listen and if they like it, buy it.

Believe it or not, a lot of people who get things for free (Whether by piracy or what have you) will actually turn around and PURCHASE the article in question.  See, we WANT to give people our money if we like something, we DON'T want to feel as if we're being FORCED to.  Even if the reality there's no difference.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2010, 05:09:04 PM »
So reading the article that Val posted got me thinking. Here's a quote from it:

Quote
Many of us know the stories of musicians who felt that they were punished for their political views. I mean, imagine musicians advocating peace, criticizing war. I mean, this is something that American musicians have done for a long time. But Clear Channel, which has avowedly conservative politics, supported President Bush, supported the war in Iraq, actually fired a number of personalities after they came out publicly and criticized the war, is thought to be the kind of company that will punish musicians for speaking their minds. And that has created a kind of culture of fear in the music community. People don’t want to offend this company, because [Clear Channel] can keep them off the airwaves, etc.

This came after a discussion of how much Clear Channel owns in the way of concert venues and ad space in addition to radio and other media. They own a LOT.

Think about your idols... and about some of the most forceful vectors of change. Music stirs us in a way that few mediums (media? whatever) can stir us. Bob Dylan. Jimi Hendrix. U2. Rage Against the Machine. All of these artists have had a message, and all of them made us think in one way or other. People want to complain about 'kids today'? Who have we given them to look up to?

It really doesn't seem like much of a coincidence that the current generation, which seems so sedated  by comparison, is just laying down and taking the knocks that they're given. In part it's because our generation structure is broken (the oldest generation should never outnumber the younger generation - a situation that will eventually - hopefully - right itself as the baby boomers go kaput) but in part it's because, like it or not, popular culture can be more effective in some ways than parents  could ever dream.

So, assuming the above quote is actually true, we're taking away diversity in the media, and anything outspoken in music that could be said to rock the boat. Such things really seem, to me, to go against what we like to think of as American sensibilities of 'free speech'.

Offline DrivestortTopic starter

Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2010, 06:53:25 PM »
You don't get it.  The actual artist (Unless he/she IS the recording company, a few bands are) would NEVER SEE a single pence. Period.  And the Radio Stations are doing bands/artists a FAVOUR by putting out their music in a free format for people to listen and if they like it, buy it.


Not entirely untrue, but damn close. The labels will be giving half of the money from the tax to the artists, and keeping half for themselves. Of course, considering even small labels can have a dozen bands on their bills, and the large ones have hundreds, that doesn't come out to a whole lot.


I've read an article supporting it, and it seems the musicians who do support it are... Old. Like, seriously, people who just aren't putting out albums any more, which of course would put them even further removed than the labels.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2010, 08:08:19 PM »
Linkie linkie?

Offline DrivestortTopic starter

Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2010, 08:13:15 PM »
http://www.blackamericaweb.com/?q=articles/news/moving_america_news/9829


I think the keyword is 'music vets' in the title of that article.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2010, 08:35:50 PM »
*reads*

I can see where they are coming from. It's really not fair that the song writers get paid every time the song is on the radio but the performers don't. If they're going to do it, it needs to be a flat fee per song. It needs to work kinda like a pack of gum: distributor pays the manufacturer, store pays the distributor, customer pays the store. You don't make the customer pay the store, the distributor, and the manufacturer, and with the bulk of music the radio plays, you don't want to charge them per use. The way to figure it out is the way you figure out the use of an iPod: you figure out what seems like a fair price for the thing, the customer pays it up front, and even though they could get years of use out of it, the distributor still makes some money.

Of course, that would be too sensible and would require pop stars to live like normal people instead of multi-million dollar mansions (that they may or may not have seen)...

Offline DrivestortTopic starter

Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2010, 08:42:55 PM »
It'd also require the major record labels and the RIAA to understand the long term effects of how they handle their business, and more importantly, be able to come to decisions with the evolution of media and distribution methods in mind in a timely manner. At this point, I think the world would be better off just killing themselves, because I don't see a light at the end of a tunnel that involves them being smart. The RIAA specifically has become so drunk and bloated on their position, they go out and try to sue the very people they're supposed to be there to protect, even.

Offline Jude

Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2010, 09:31:23 PM »
You can't make the evolution of media argument against the RIAA and then at the same time ignore it when it comes to radio; radio really is an antiquated medium for entertainment, especially music, given the digital revolution.  Killing off musical radio stations might be the next logical step in the evolution of media.

I also don't understand how making musical artists less likely to make political statements is a bad thing.  They have a right to say whatever they want, but they abuse the additional power granted in them by celebrity status in an attempt to spread their beliefs to the populace.  It's every bit as bad as when businesses try to use their enormous wealth and power to influence causes.  They're two sides of the same coin, right wingers complain about musicians and left wingers complain about corporations;  they just bitch about people who abuse their power to say things they don't agree with, not people who abuse their power to say things they do agree with, it's hypocrisy at its best.

Artist's political opinions are rarely well-researched and people aren't really punished for making political songs as much as loud, political statements on the public forum.  When in public, in a very real way, celebrities are on the job because their public appearance is part of the marketing.  If I made political statements at work I would be fired; why should it be any different for a celebrity who goes out of their way to spout off their beliefs (and often it occurs during during public events; award acceptance speeches, etc).

Every medium other than radio has to pay royalties for the use of music to the artist and the recording label, why should radio be exempt?  If the medium cannot survive as is while compensating artists for their contributions to their success, then why should it survive as is?

We need radio to deliver public service announcements and talk radio isn't going anywhere no matter what.  Sports channels, political channels, and the faith channels are going to be perfectly fine.  If this passes it'll only hurt the music stations which already do a poor job of serving the needs of people who actually have nuanced, individualistic musical tastes to begin with.  Yes, some local radio stations may be closed, jobs will be lost, but new frequencies will open up for technology (and radio frequencies are popular real estate).

If I was in congress I still don't know how I would vote.  My mind isn't made up, I see the points either way.  I know that they provide free advertising, but the way they do it is by using their products to make money for themselves.  Painting it that way is a bit dishonest, as is this whole tax nonsense.  It's clearly an effort to associate the performance fee with taxes in order to capitalize on the swelling tide of public dissatisfaction with anything deemed a tax; it's dishonest as are many of the arguments here including the one that said artists wouldn't see a cent.  That's blatantly untrue.

When you're discussing a topic and you take it to an extreme level and use dishonest tactics you will convince people who may otherwise have been on your side to support your opponents, as such it's really important to consider the language and the honesty of your arguments.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 09:33:52 PM by Jude »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2010, 09:43:36 PM »
Well the things is.. when I'm driving I LIKE listening to the stations that play classic rock, r&b and some current music.

I do not listen to : talk radio, sports radio, religious radio or political radio. I know of at least five artists I discovered to like driving back and forth to work when I had a job. I know a LOT of folks who pick up new music they like that way and will lose out on it. Digital media ISN'T the future yet, and local stations are simply being targeted as the newest 'goose' to kill by RIAA and it's composite parts.

What is next?  Charging folks who play cover songs at bars, proms, weddings and what have you? An annual 'usage fee' for music you download?

Offline Trieste

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Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2010, 09:50:34 PM »
It'd also require the major record labels and the RIAA to understand the long term effects of how they handle their business, and more importantly, be able to come to decisions with the evolution of media and distribution methods in mind in a timely manner. At this point, I think the world would be better off just killing themselves, because I don't see a light at the end of a tunnel that involves them being smart. The RIAA specifically has become so drunk and bloated on their position, they go out and try to sue the very people they're supposed to be there to protect, even.

Their anti-pirating thing really really needs to stop. They went and shot themselves in the foot by taking it over the top and I'm not even sure they've realized it. Maybe they have, I don't know. What I do know is that they haven't even once made a move in the direction of an apology, and that's pretty important. Whether they acted incorrectly or not is not really at issue; what is at issue is that they made themselves into public bad guys and they're not going to get back any respect until they acknowledge and apologize for that fact.

Once they've done that, then they can start talking about a performance fee or tax or whatever, but until they've established themselves as an entity that's capable of saying "I screwed up, I'd like to move on", they will not have the social currency to introduce anything without it being seen as another ploy.

It doesn't matter if it's within their power or even their right. Like health care recission, the RIAA's persecution of even the most ludicrous targets may be a legally permissible act and it may seem like a good idea at the time, but the social backlash should nonetheless warrant some pause and hopefully some rectification. That seems to be at the base of a lot of these arguments.

Offline Jude

Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2010, 09:56:25 PM »
1)  I can counter your personal stories with my own which are in direct conflict just as easily, but personal stories don't matter.  They speak of individual events and not trends.

2)  Slippery slope arguments present situations where, if the logic was applied in the most extreme manner possible, those things would occur.  Fortunately, there's no reason to believe the logic would ever be applied to its most extreme.  You can support the performance fee and at the same time insist that laws the law include protections against that very stuff you're worried about every happening, and then things are just fine.

The bottom line is, if a studio produces a television show the TV station that carries it in order to compete for the market share so that they can sell advertisements has to compensate that television studio.  It's not always financial, for example the Networks will often trade programming for ad-time, and other things.  You could make the argument that those stations shouldn't have to pay since they're advertising for those television shows which will make money off of selling DVDs of their seasons and individual episodes on iTunes, that's basically the argument you're making for radio.

People don't hate television studios like they do recording companies, but they do the same thing for a different medium.  True, this is partially because the recording industry has a bad reputation for its anti-piracy measures, but their profitability has been in decline for years.  The point is, the two situations are analogous, the question is very simple:  why should radio get special privileges that other forms of media don't?  Why shouldn't musicians and record companies have full creative control over their product, including the right to demand these fees if they want their music played?  Being against this is essentially advocating continuing to deny them that control over their own product, no one's going to force them to play popular music if the price is too high, but we're currently forcing them to give it away almost for free.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2010, 10:09:44 PM »
...I have to admit I don't think I've heard the phrase "abuse the additional power granted in them by celebrity status in an attempt to spread their beliefs to the populace" used in a serious argument before. That's... quite special.

It does not in the slightest compare to a corporation funding a message, of course, since in the celebrity's case, you know who is behind it.

What is next?  Charging folks who play cover songs at bars, proms, weddings and what have you? ...

This has been going on for some decades now.

Given the predominance of payola I'm not sure what sense this move makes, except possibly as a thicker cover for payola in general to drown out the digital medium. Then again, the RIAA could just be batshit crazy. The MPAA has been working with a much lighter touch, with a more valuable product, and has been better received for it.

Offline rick957

Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2010, 10:33:16 PM »
Jude's points above (and Vekseid's too) seem far more logically sound and overall sensible than much of the criticism being lobbied at the recording industry here.  (And it's really weird for me to be saying anything in defense of the recording industry, which I generally detest for its consistent historical track record of shortchanging artistry for the sake of profits.)

Yet, here I go again.  :)  Trieste, I tend to agree with a lot of what you say, but I'm flabbergasted at your suggestion that the recording industry owes the public an apology.  Of course, I think the decision to prosecute individual file-sharers is an absurdly ill-advised and counter-productive tactic, but it is a legal tactic, in response to theft.  No matter how low your opinion is of the recording industry, it is made of people, and those people have lost their livelihoods due to the widespread, unstoppable, and completely illegal practice of file sharing of copyrighted works.

The inexorable slow death of copyright is a lot more worrisome to me than the death of the loathsome recording industry, however, because the former seriously threatens the livelihood of full-time-career artists of all kinds -- musicians, writers, actors, directors, you name it.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 10:43:02 PM by rick957 »

Offline Jude

Re: Record industry wants to kill the radio star.
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2010, 10:51:10 PM »
...I have to admit I don't think I've heard the phrase "abuse the additional power granted in them by celebrity status in an attempt to spread their beliefs to the populace" used in a serious argument before. That's... quite special.
That's extremely condescending and rude.
It does not in the slightest compare to a corporation funding a message, of course, since in the celebrity's case, you know who is behind it.
You're saying it's a false analogy because of ways in which I didn't compare it.  It's true, it's a false analogy if your problem is the lack of transparency, but I was comparing the concentration of political power in the handful of a few (or in the case of celebrities one) individuals.  If you're against that in the case of companies, then you should be against it in the case of celebrities, was my point.