I’ve written before and I’ll say it again: radio and music labels would advance their respective self-interests far more efficiently if they would learn to really work together rather than snarling at each other over the carcass of the performance royalty debate or happily pointing out each other’s revenue numbers each time they decline.
So count me as pleased with a blog essay by Mike Agovino that appears in TechCrunch. He’s the COO of Triton Media Group and writes a paragraph that encapsulates what I feel and have long felt: “The audience will continue to migrate online and radio brands need to make sure they exist where and how the audience wants them. Radio and record labels need to find business models that build value for both industries in this new world. Negotiations between the two have been on and off for years now with no resolution in sight. The music industry, broadcasters, artists and consumers are going to continue to take it on the chin if we can’t get these problems resolved. The future for both is better together than apart.”
Agovino, a former exec at Katz, Interep and Clear Channel Radio, suggests an over-the-air royalty that starts at 1% of revenue and escalates to 5% over 10 years, plus a new arrangement of streaming fees that start at 25% and go down to 5% over a decade. But whether or not you agree with his specific proposal, it’s hard to fault the underlying assumptions about the future that he makes in his well-written piece.
Paul McLane is Radio World U.S. Editor in Chief.