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Monday, February 21, 2011

RIAA: A few more thoughts...

Everyone gets the need for artists to get paid on what they do, but, really, should radio, after all this time, be the one to have to do it? Let's take a look at a few things...

Radio is provided music for free by labels to play. Artists want this airplay. They know that this exposure is priceless, and it can move the sales of a song, and album, exponentially. This has always been the nature of a symbiotic relationship between radio and records. It's not been 'broken' before and it's not 'broken' now. So why the need to change it?

Should radio groups submit invoices to labels for 3-4 minute 'commercials' which is essentially what we're doing by playing these songs?

More immediately - how much would Interscope owe for 5000 spins at 3 minutes each to radio stations for Lady Gaga, should radio and records destroy the existing model of success?

This senseless tax on radio - the performance tax - is just loony. It's a desperate measure thought up to remedy a much larger problem: the buying habits of consumers.

When Apple and Steve Jobs brokered the deal for iTunes with the labels back in the day, the labels, incorrectly, thought the model and the platform would never work. They were wrong. Now, it's the norm, and no one else seems to be able to compete. Sure, Apple is getting the lion's share of the profit. It's the deal the labels made with Apple. If you don't like the deal, renegotiate it with Apple, but don't punish the medium which exposes your artists for FREE because you made what you see as a bad deal. Fix the deal.

Day in and day out, people show overwhelmingly they want radio, and they want to hear the labels artists on radio. It just makes no sense to destroy a relationship which works.

Finally - radio is on the side of the artists. We want our artists to do well. That's why we pick 'em like we do  - selectively - so we expose the best of the best in the limited slots we have - to our audiences. It's why we have multi formated stations - from country to rock to latino to pop. We know that our exposure sells singles, moves concert tickets and more. There are no shenanigans with airplay - we just do what we do with what the artists and labels give us to play. The results speak for themselves.

Soapbox off.