June 15th, 2010

Radio Come and Gone

If you enjoy popular radio stations such at 93.5 K Day, Power 106, KIIS 102.7 or enjoy popular radio hosts such as Wendy Williams, Ryan Seacrest, or Chuy Gomez, you better take it back to 1995 and get a blank tape to record them, because soon radio stations may be a thing of the past.

radio_30-9-09If you haven’t heard, the Performance Tax is kind of a big deal. The record industry is requesting that the government place a tax upon radio stations for playing the music of their artists for free.

The relationship between radio stations and the record industry has spanned over a course of 80 years,  with radio stations providing free publicity for artists and giving them an outlet to reach the masses. However, the record industry has recently considered this to be piracy and strongly believes a tax should be enforced.

If a tax is imposed, radio stations will have to pay millions, maybe billions of dollars a year. For many stations,that are locally owned and operated, it will cause them to close their doors forever, but ensure that the doors of the record labels remain open for years to come.

With the majority of the money from the tax going directly to the record labels and then trickling down to the artists, there is no doubt that the record companies are the primary beneficiaries of this tax.

Although, record labels utilize various outlets to promote their artists such as concert tours, television, internet, etc.; radio stations rank in approximately “$2.4 billion annually” in free promotion for record labels, according to the National Association of Broadcasters.

But in contrast, some members of Congress, such as House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. has even compared the radio free usage of music as a modern day form of slavery and free labor.

As much as I hate to deprive you of your weekly dose of new and upcoming artists, this  issue is serious for you and the people who are featured in this section. If this tax is passed through Congress, some of your favorite radio stations may be forced to close… FOREVER!

You may say, “So what?” but if you’ve ever won concert tickets, attended a radio station sponsored event, listened to the radio for weather and traffic updates and waited anxiously for your  favorite celebrity interviews or use the radio as a source of hearing new music first, those days may be numbered.

If you are an artist looking for radio play, you better hire a publicist to seek out alternate ways for your music to be distributed to the masses, because radio may not be an option moving forward.

To get involved in efforts to oppose the record label-led performance tax on radio, visit:

About the Author

Lynn McFail
Lynn was born and bred in Arlington, Virginia which is five minutes outside of the Nation’s Capital. Much like the artists she writes about, 22 year old Lynn McFail is also On the Rise.



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