Radio is still a bulwark of discovery for new music. Currently a bill in Congress called H.B. 848, but more affectionately known as the performance tax, is being looked at to charge radio stations for airplay of artists...record companies cashing in on the otherwise free airtime they have been giving radios. In turn for that free airtime, comes free promotion, but not anymore. The fees are graduated, and the more money a station makes the more they will be required to pay for music. Thus, stations that can't pay the fees will essentially be done away with or resort to something alike talk radio. The act could mark the second major sea change in radio telecommunication in the last two decades. In February of 1996, increased competition in the radio industry paved the way for media conglomerates acquiring large numbers of stations.

And perhaps that's all fine, but what has happened was alignment of many stations under uniform programming. People are fine with this because many of us prefer to hear familiar sounds when they tune in. However, those who challenge such alignment and promote, play, and celebrate what the power of radio are who may not survive passage of a performance tax. Classic rock and popular bands promoted otherwise soak up airtime and use radio as a tool for extension of reissues and hit records. Don't kill tools of discovery and beneficial promotion.


de la seth said...

i wonder if these lawmakers have ever been in a band...

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