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Preview: Future of Music Coalition - Payola

Future of Music Coalition - Payola


Music Community Unites Against Radio Payola

Wed, 13 May 2015 20:29:54 +0000


If you’ve ever negotiated with bandmates about where to eat after a gig, you know that musicians can have strong—and sometimes divergent—opinions about a lot of different things.  Expand that to the broader music community—which includes independent and major record labels, managers, advocacy groups, artist unions and fans—and it gets even more complex. (Are we still talking about grub? Kinda getting hungry ourselves.)

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FMC Reply to Broadcaster Push to Legitimize Payola

Tue, 12 May 2015 16:48:31 +0000

Musicians and labels reiterate why Big Radio's request is not in the public interest
May 12, 2015
Casey Rae

On May 12, 2015, Future of Music Coalition filed the following reply comments to the Federal Communiations Commission (FCC) in the agency’s review of commercial broadcasters’ petition to eliminate on-air disclosure of paid programming.


Before the
Federal Communications Commission
Washington D.C. 20554


In the Matter of                                                         

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Media Files:

Big Radio Pushes for More Payola

Tue, 17 Mar 2015 16:13:20 +0000


Followers of our work over the past 15 years know that we’ve always taken a stand against against payola—the practice of well-heeled music companies giving cash or other enticements to big broadcasters in exchange for radio airplay. Technically, this practice is only illegal if it is not disclosed over the airwaves when the paid-for music is played. But over the years, the broadcasting conglomerates have found workarounds. Most recently, they established a system of so-called “independent promoters” who would funnel cash or other goodies to broadcasters without the major labels ever dirtying their hands. (Our Payola Education Guide offers a great overview of this pernicious practice.)

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Fear and Loathing in Royalty Rate Setting

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:40:33 +0000


Post by FMC’s Casey Rae

Who gets paid, how much and under what terms when music is played on digital and AM/FM radio? Answering those questions isn’t easy, even for experts. But one thing is clear: 2014 has been a big year for the laws and policies that determine royalty rates for all forms of radio, and the intrigue will likely continue into 2015.

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Clear Channel/WMG Deal is No Substitute for Terrestrial Performance Right

Mon, 16 Sep 2013 14:58:30 +0000

warner_music_group_0_112835.jpg Wide by Michelle Davis, FMC Policy Intern This week, Clear Channel Communications, the nation’s largest broadcaster, signed an unprecedented strategic partnership with major record label Warner Music Group. For the first time ever, Warner’s roster of performers will be compensated for plays on American terrestrial (AM/FM) radio. (Currently, only songwriters and publishers are paid for radio airplay; performers and record labels recieve nothing.) And it would be great news… if this was an industry-wide performance right, something FMC has supported for years. But as it stands, only WMG will receive these royalties and only from Clear Channel-owned stations. (They certainly own a LOT of stations, but those stations pretty much play the same music from format to format.) Clear Channel chairman and chief execute Robert Pittman lauds the move as “redefine[ing] the relationship between music companies and radio.” But in reality, the deal—like those struck by Clear Channel and Fleetwood Mac , Big Machine Records, and Innovative Leisure—is frustratingly limited. For one, it will not allow for the collection of money owed to artists for international radio play. Because the US doesnt pay foreign performers and sound recording owners for radio play on our shores, American artists receive no money when their music is played abroad. Reciprocity in royalties would require an act of Congress, something that the major broadcasters have fought tooth and nail to avoid. Never mind that the rest of the developed world compensates performers (with notable exceptions including North Korea and Iran). If Pittman truly wants to “redefine relationships,” he should encourage compensating performers across the board so that America no longer gives away a valuable export free of charge on the world market. read more[...]

Radio, Radio: FMC and the 2010 Media Ownership Review

Wed, 14 Jul 2010 22:21:57 +0000

(image) on air.JPG

On Monday, July 12, Future of Music Coalition submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission in its media ownership rules review. Although this proceeding takes into account the whole range of American media — newspapers, television, etc. — we focused on station ownership consolidation in the broadcast radio market, because that’s what impacts musicians and fans. 

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Talkin' Music Policy with FMC

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 18:34:33 +0000


It was a great weekend for listening to FMC folks talk about our favorite subject: the intersection of music and policy.

On Saturday, FMC Policy Director Michael Bracy chatted with Windy City music scribes Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis on "Sound Opinions" — a weekly talk show from Chicago Public Radio and American Public Media.

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Do Webcasters Play More Artists Than Traditional Radio?

Wed, 21 Oct 2009 18:05:54 +0000

(image) WEBCAST2.jpg

One company that measures such stats says definitely.

While it may not seem like much of a surprise that web radio plays more artists than traditional broadcasters, new data supplied by streamSerf — a company that monitors and reports on music played on terrestrial and web radio — highlights a pretty big disparity. According to the company, last month American broadcast radio stations played 25,399 unique artists (this includes public radio stations) while Internet radio stations played 829,971 unique artists. We're no mathematicians, but apparently that's 32 times as much.

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Is radio suppressing pro-Performance Rights Act artists?

Mon, 17 Aug 2009 16:25:37 +0000

The FCC is accepting comments on concerns that musicians and groups who support the Performance Rights Act are getting the bums rush from radio stations.

Monday, August 17, 2009
Matthew Lasar

FMC's Kristin Thomson Talks Indie Access on Mediageek Radioshow

Mon, 13 Jul 2009 20:43:34 +0000

(image) SOS.gif

On Tuesday, July 9, FMC's Kristin Thomson -- author of "Same Old Song," FMC's latest report(s) on indie music on the airwaves -- gave an interview on the Mediageek Radioshow.On Tuesday,

Mediageek is a weekly half-hour syndicated public affairs radio program covering grassroots and independent media, hosted and produced by Paul Riismandel at WNUR 89.3 FM on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Mediageek can be heard throughout Chicago and the northern suburbs, and also on the web.

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