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NAB Launches On-Air Campaign Against Performance Fee

Association expects legislation will move out of committee soon

The National Association of Broadcasters thinks the American Music Fairness Act is likely to pass out of committee soon. It is encouraging U.S. radio stations to run spots about the legislation that would impose a performance royalty on broadcast radio.

The NAB radio board voted unanimously on Friday to approve an on-air campaign that includes radio spots and digital creative calling on listeners to urge Congress “to stand up for local radio.”

[Read NAB’s position page on the legislation.]

“NAB anticipates the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by longtime performance tax proponent Jerry Nadler,  to consider and most likely pass this bill out of committee in the coming weeks.”

Association President/CEO Curtis LeGeyt was among those addressing the committee on this topic last month. He says NAB welcomes a chance to “work on meaningful solutions to this issue. 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.”

NAB  posted a link where stations can access the campaign elements.

Although it thinks the legislation will move out of committee, NAB has said it believes congressional opposition to a performance fee “is extremely strong.”

Advocates for a performance fee believe radio stations should not be exempt from compensating artists and labels for content, and that creators should be the ones to decide what constitutes beneficial promotion of their work.

Michael Huppe, president/CEO of SoundExchange, has said the lack of performance rights to artists or labels “is one of the most egregious injustices that exists today in the U.S. music industry.”

The proposed legislation includes a provision to limit the cost to small broadcasters for playing music to $500, and qualified public, college and noncommercial stations would pay $100.