Country and western superstar George Strait joined numerous other voices from the talent end of the music business in speaking up about the importance of radio. As the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) continues to pursue legislation demanding an unprecedented performance tax on songs played over the air, more musicians are stepping to the fore in support of free radio over their own recording labels.
Free airplay has been responsible for establishing the careers of musicians in every genre conceivable. Its impact on the careers of artists ranging from The Rolling Stones to Outkast is huge, and competition for play on the airwaves immense.
Radio industry trade publication, Radio Online, carries this report about an interview country music star George Strait conducted with Radio & Records magazine:
“You 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.”
Commenting on Strait’s statement, NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton said, “George Strait is the latest in a long line of recording artists who can’t thank radio enough for helping sell records. The straight truth is this: the record labels’ proposed performance tax would cause economic harm to local radio stations across America, resulting in less music and fewer artists being exposed to listeners.”
Much as we are seeing with the royalty fees being enacted on webcasting, many smaller stations will have to curtail or cease operation due to the added expense of a performance tax.
It’s important for musicians who have experienced the power of radio as a career builder to speak out. It’s also important for all of you reading this to support the Local Radio Freedom Act which opposes the RIAA’s proposed new fees.