The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Radio Board of Directors voted unanimously on Friday, March 18 to approve an on-air campaign to educate listeners on the significant harm of legislation that would impose a performance fee on broadcast radio.
The campaign includes radio spots and digital creative that will begin running immediately, calling on listeners to urge Congress to stand up for local radio by opposing legislation that would institute a performance fee.
NAB strongly opposes the American Music Fairness Act, which would impose a performance royalty on local broadcast radio stations for over-the-air music airplay. NAB anticipates the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by longtime performance tax proponent Jerry Nadler (NY-10), to consider and most likely pass this bill out of committee in the coming weeks. NAB’s statement upon the legislation’s introduction in June 2021 is available here.
“We’ve been clear that we welcome the opportunity to sit at the table with the recording industry to work on meaningful solutions to this issue,” said NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt. “However, the record labels seem singularly focused on pushing Congress to act on a performance royalty bill that would radically upend one of their greatest promotional tools. Radio cannot sit idly by while the record labels seek to undermine our business at the expense of artists and listeners.”
Stations can download the spots, which are available in English and Spanish, along with additional tools at www.nab.org/performancetaxresources/. Scripts are also available for stations that wish to customize the spots.
“Imposing a performance royalty on local radio – on top of the hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties it already pays – would not only mean less music for listeners, but would also kill jobs, punish up-and-coming artists, hurt small business advertisers and jeopardize the public service radio stations provide their communities every day,” said NAB Joint Board Chairman David Santrella, CEO of Salem Media Group. “We want to educate our audiences about the damage performance fee legislation would have on radio and our ability to serve tens of millions of Americans every day.”
Congressional opposition to a performance fee is extremely strong. Broadcasters appreciate the more than 235 members of Congress supporting their local radio stations and listeners by cosponsoring the Local Radio Freedom Act, a congressional resolution opposing “any new performance fee, tax, royalty or other charge” on local broadcast radio stations.