WASHINGTON, DC -- NAB today issued a statement responding to a press release from musicFIRST, an organization backed by the Recording Industry Association of America. The musicFIRST press release contained a statement attributed to U2 lead singer Bono, in which the rock-star expressed support for an RIAA-led effort to begin charging radio stations for music aired free to listeners. Bono's statement was aimed at supporting "many young recording artists out there," according to the musicFIRST news release.
Responding to the musicFIRST news release, NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton issued the following statement.
"The irony is that it will be the less-established performers who will be hurt most by a performance tax. If radio stations are forced to pay to play music, program directors will be less likely to take a chance playing unknown artists and will instead stick with established musicians like Bono. New artists and niche formats will suffer, and Bono and Britney Spears will become wealthier."
In a March interview with a WHDH-TV Boston news reporter, Bono explained why his band chose to hold a free concert in Boston. "It's worth remembering that U2, you know we broke in the United States through Boston and through radio stations like BCN and stuff like that," Bono said, referring to Boston rock station WBCN-FM. "We depend on radio," he continued.
To watch video from WHDH-TV's interview, visit the station's Web site, and click "Watch the video."
Today's statement comes as the RIAA continues to press Congress to pass legislation that would require local radio stations to pay a new fee for music aired free to listeners. Countering the RIAA-backed legislation is the Local Radio Freedom Act (H. Con. Res. 49, S. Con. Res. 14), which opposes "any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge" on local radio stations.
"Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over-the-air, or on any business for such public performance of sound recordings," reads the Local Radio Freedom Act.
On numerous occasions, both record label executives and artists have recognized the promotional value of free radio airplay. Such statements include:
can't take being played on the radio for granted," Strait said.
"There are only so many spots and many great singers out there
wanting one. It's a jungle out there."
have so many friends out there. I think back over the years now, and
it's amazing how much of my life has been impacted by radio people."
me tell you four letters that mean a whole lot to me. Four letters that
have changed the course of my career. Four letters out of 26. W-Y-C-D."
You Radio!! 4 Grammy Awards Last Night!!!"
mainly radio, actually. I’ll hear a song, very often in the car,
and buy the CD."
McCartney on where he finds new music. Entertainment Weekly, February
was homeless for about a year and I went back to singing, 'cause that's
what I grew up doing with my dad as a child. We made our money by bar-singing.
So I was looking for a place to sing, and it was my own material. And
after about a year of being homeless and doing that, a radio station
played one of my songs on the air -- a bootleg. I didn't have any demos.
I wasn't trying to get signed. But a record label heard it, and all
the sudden it was like being Cinderella. Limousines started showing
John Rich, Big and Rich, 'Nashville Star,' July 2008
love a strong radio hit. ... That's what our job is, to have a radio
hit. Without radio, we couldn't do what we do, but the job is to have
a radio hit that sounds unique, and like you."
Jewel, Grammy-nominated recording artist, 'Nashville Star,' July 2008
Alicia Keys, recording artist and Grammy winner, 2008 Grammy Awards,
remains the best way to get new music into the listeners' lives."
radio is probably the most important thing for a new rock band coming
out. If you don't get yourself on the radio, then you won't draw bodies
at the clubs and you won't sell records."
'Another Animal' drummer Shannon Larkin, Drum Magazine, 2008
radio, thank you so much for being our mouthpiece. You know what we
do means nothing if it never gets played, and no one gets to hear it."
Flatts,' Vocal Group of the Year, Country Music Awards, 2007
Taylor Swift, Horizon Award (for best new artist), Country Music Awards,
have yet to see the big reaction you want to see to a hit until it goes
on the radio. I'm a big, big fan of radio."
Palmese, Executive Vice President of Promotion, RCA, 2007
has proven itself time and time again to be the biggest vehicle to expose
Ken Lane, Senior Vice President for Promotion, Island Def Jam Music
is clearly the number one way that we're getting our music exposed.
Nothing else affects retail sales the way terrestrial radio does."
Biery, Senior Vice President for Promotion, Warner Bros. Records, 2005
the most important thing for a label, getting your records played."
Eddie Daye, recording artist, 2003
helped me a lot. That's the audience. I can't see them, but I know they're
there. I can't reach out and touch them with my hand, but I know they're
B.B. King, recording artist, 2002
a song's not on the radio, it'll never sell."
Mark Wright, Senior Vice President, MCA Records, 2001
play is king. They play the record, it sells. If they don't, it's dead
in the water."
Jim Mazza, President, Dreamcatcher Entertainment, 1999
am so grateful to radio. Their support has truly changed my life, and
I hope they know how appreciative I am for that."
-- Jo Dee Messina, recording artist, 1999
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. As the voice of more than 8,300 radio and television stations, NAB advances their interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.