Record label-backed MusicFirst, a lobbying group fighting for performance rights from radio airplay, claimed NAB was talking out of both sides of its mouth this week.
To policymakers, NAB claims members stations are too poor to pay another music rights fee, yet tells another story to its members, according to MusicFirst, which sent a “wassup?” message to NAB.
“On Tuesday (April 21st) NAB invoked the ‘Great Depression’ to size up radio’s advertising prospects,” stated MusicFirst. “On Monday (April 20th) NAB’s CEO said ‘…every industry in America faces tough economic times, but I have to tell you, right here, right now, not many of them are as well-positioned to succeed as we are.'”
NAB said MusicFirst was wrong and issued a “distorted” claim.
NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton stated: “RIAA still doesn’t get it. America’s local radio stations are indeed facing the worst advertising recession since the Great Depression, a financial reality that would be exponentially worsened by a performance tax. But instead of suing grandmothers and college kids or looking to another industry for a brazen money-grab, we’re embracing technology, adapting our business model, and looking to the future.”