WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Broadcasters today expressed support for a bipartisan resolution co-sponsored by 73 Members of Congress recognizing the promotional value of music on free and local radio stations. The Local Radio Freedom Act (H. Con. Res. 16), introduced by Reps. Michael Conaway (R-Texas) and Gene Green (D-Texas), signals opposition to any potential legislation that would impose new performance royalties on broadcast radio stations for music airplay.
"For decades, local radio has been the primary platform for exposing millions of Americans to new artists and new music," said NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton. "NAB salutes lawmakers for recognizing that a new performance fee on broadcasters threatens the financial base that sustains America's hometown radio stations."
In recent months broadcasters and music labels have entered private-market agreements, without the need for government intervention, which permit radio stations to pay sound-recording performance royalties in exchange for lowered digital performance fees. Examples of such agreements are those between Clear Channel and RPM Entertainment, Entercom and Glassnote Entertainment Group, and Beasley Broadcasting and Big Machine Label Group.
On numerous occasions, both record label executives and artists have recognized the promotional value of free radio airplay. Recent statements include:
"I want to thank all the people who help us to do what we do, our whole team. I want to thank all of country radio, Southern Ground, all our folks back home."
-- Zac Brown Band frontman Zac Brown at the 2013 Grammys
"I was driving in the car with my mom the first time I heard my song on the radio. It's a pull-over-your-car, get-out-and-jump-around moment, something that you dream of when you're a little girl and you want to be an artist. And that feeling doesn't go away. I'm still excited when I hear myself on the radio."
-- Miranda Lambert, iHeartRadio music festival, October 1, 2012
"To our world, nothing is more important than radio."
-- Epic Records COO Mark Shimmel, Advertising Week, October 2012
"We have a lot of platforms but there is no platform more important than radio."
-- Epic Records chairman, songwriter, producer and "The X Factor" judge L.A. Reid, Advertising Week, October 2012
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television 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.