Lovett to Testify for Radio Royalties

In the ever shifting musical business landscape there often needs to be an outside arbitrator to straighten things out. And ironically a country as free-market loving as ours it’s often the Feds left to straighten things out.

I think this is correct. Figuring out if a broadcaster should start paying songwriter royalties to performing rights groups ASCAP, BMI and SESAC (who was a big presence at the Americana Music Conference) instead of the current model of exemption from performance royalties because, as the broadcasters argue, the promotional value gained by playing music on the radio more than offsets any royalty that performers and record companies would receive. There needs to be a formalized and fairly equitable business model for terrestrial, satellite and Internet radio for the future. If these no money in it for the artist, then great songwriters might never pick up the pen for the need to support themselves and their family.

Lyle Lovett is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday as the music industry continues its push for a royalty for over-the-air broadcasts. Good for Lyle!

3 Replies to “Lovett to Testify for Radio Royalties”

  1. if a broadcaster monetizes their broadcasts, then it’s only fair that performers get a cut of the profits… but it’s a delicate ecosystem. it’s important to support artists, but it’s just as important that broadcast vehicles (radio, internet, etc.) are healthy as well, otherwise those businesses will close shop.

    and if a songwriter cuts an album and no one is exposed to it… was it ever really cut?

    artist dreams of becoming of mega-stars, playing to sold out arenas and touring the world have been tempered by the realities of modern day perceived *value* of music. people just aren’t willing to spend the money they used to on music — whether it be recorded or live.

    as long as both sides realize they need one another to survive, a smart deal can be made. let’s just hope it’s not modeled to the interests of made stars and traditional broadcasters. there’s a whole line of up and coming artists and business models whose existance depends on these negotiations.

  2. True C-Dog, but like professional sports, the labels need to realize they have nothing without the talent and that the multi-channel licensing money needs to be spread around more evenly.

  3. that goes without saying, b-did. the labels are always looking to pillage the potential coffers of talent. it’s the relationship between talent creating art and broadcasters exposing art that i’d like to see more carefully navigated and negotiated.

    unfortunately, the labels, ASCAP, BMI and SESAC have a bunch of their own self-interest caught up in the mix.

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