Posts Tagged ‘CRB’

Thank You, Ben Nelson!

May 3, 2010

Washington, D.C., is not a very straightforward place. Legislation is the result of deals, compromises, lobbyist influence, and many other factors. These find their way into law in the most roundabout ways at times. One standard approach is to take some piece of legislation — in this case the odious Performance Rights Act (PRA) — and attach it to some “must pass” measure up for vote. That way, its native popularity level has nothing to do with it being enacted. It happens all the time.

Enter Ben Nelson (D- NE), who chairs the Legislative Subcommittee, which oversees the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB). The CRB is the organization that would administrate PRA if it gets passed. The excellent thing is that he is on our side of the fight.

As RadioBusinessReport notes, he made mention of the PRA in a recent address about the CRB’s budget for 2011:

“As a brief aside, I continue to hear from a number of organizations concerned about the performance royalties bill that would affect local radio stations,” said Nelson. “I make this brief note here only because of the Copyright Royalty Board’s potential role under this legislation. Along with many of my colleagues I continue to oppose this bill and would not support an attempt to attach such legislation to an appropriations bill whether it is this one or any of the others.”

This is a step in the right direction!  Having someone in the right position to prevent the classic political sleight of hand is something that I find reassuring. Having grown up in  family of lawyers, I have seen all to well the winding path taken by even the most innocuous legislation.

Support for the Local Radio Freedom Act, which opposes the proposed royalty structures, is one of the only true bipartisan efforts on Capitol Hill, or at least in the House of Representatives. Too many remain off the record in the Senate to have a clear idea of where things stand with them. Nelson’s stance in keeping that back door shut will hopefully make the ongoing battle in the Senate a more straightforward and honest one.

Image: Senate portrait / Public Domain


NAB and SoundExchange Cut A Deal!

February 18, 2009


For nearly two years now, the battle has raged on between SoundExchange and webcasters. Following close on the heels of another agreement recently hammered out with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, this agreement does not cover webcasting in general, only simulcast shows.

Via Jon Healy of The Los Angeles Times:

Under the deal announced today, local radio stations will pay a per-song rate of $1.50 per thousand listeners in 2009 and 2010, compared with the [Copyright Royalty Board] CRB’s $1.80 and $1.90, respectively. But the deal also calls for rates to rise to $2.50 by 2015. It’s worth noting that commercial radio simulcasts (simultaneous online transmissions of over-the-air feeds) can be more lucrative than made-for-the-Internet webcasts because they cost little to produce and include far more commercials per hour.

Thirty to forty cents per thousand is an important reduction. When you consider the formidable reach that radio has, these pennies mount up at an amazing rate. In my local area, I can think of very few radio stations that do not stream a simulcast. As a matter of fact, I tend to listen to my local stations just as much on the net as I do over the air. I also know that I am far from alone in this. After all, broadcast can reach places the Net cannot and the Net can reach some places broadcast cannot. In the modern age, it is positively vital to have both.

As Mr. Healy points out, commercial webcasters, religious broadcasters, college radio and hobby webcasters are still waiting for an agreement that will determine their fate as pertains to royalties. With two agreements reached in the past month, we can only hope for the trend to continue.

Photo courtesy of jordigralls, used under its Creative Commons license

Country Radio Week: It’s Official!

March 7, 2008
Nashville By Night

In yesterday’s post, I used quotes from a few Sony execs and B.B. King to illustrate my points. Today, I’m going to take that approach a bit further by writing about a man who has done more than speak out in favor of radio: Karl Dean. The following comes to us via Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc.:

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean issued a proclamation making the week of March 3, 2008 “Country Radio Week.” The mayor will present the official proclamation to Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. Executive Director Ed Salamon and President Becky Brenner when he welcomes attendees to the 39th Country Radio Seminar (CRS-39) on March 5th.

Hmmmm. So radio makes enough of an impact on Nashville and the country music scene to merit its own week? Not too shabby for a “dying medium.” Let’s go for the gusto and pull a good summary quote out of the announcement:

The proclamation recognizes that “Country radio promotes Nashville tourism daily by broadcasting information about our city and its attractions. Country radio is the primary medium for exposure of Country music, an endeavor that employs many Nashvillians as artists, writers and producers. Country Radio Seminar will bring country radio professionals together from all across America.”

This is a point that is often lost in the ongoing discourse about radio and its viability — the other livelihoods that exist beyond the sales staff and the DJs. Since its inception, radio has been the medium that provides the most widespread possible exposure to new artists, as well as all of the professional positions that are required to build upon that initial popularity. As time goes by and new works are produced, radio again enters the equation, often debuting the new material. For Nashville in particular that means big business.

Ed Salamon, Executive Director of the CRB stated, “We are gratified that Mayor Karl Dean recognizes the considerable economic impact that country radio has on Nashville and Davidson County and has given radio its own week”

2008 is going be known as the year in which America rediscovered the value of radio. Airplay has always had a huge influence on the music industry as a whole. As radio evolves and reaches out through cell phones, Internet streams, and technologies as yet un-envisioned that influence will continue to grow.

Just stay tuned, you’ll see!

Photo courtesy of Exothermic, used under this Creative Commons license