RAIN 7/3: Forbes calls for a level playing field in radio royalties

Paul Maloney
July 3, 2012 - 12:40pm

Editor's note: RAIN will return Thursday, July 5. Happy 4th of July!

Actually, it's Forbes contributor John Villasenor who this week makes the case that not only should radio pay artists (and labels) for the music they play -- but that by maintaining an unlevel royalty playing field between broadcast, satellite, and Net radio, Congress is impeding innovation.

Broadcasters are exempt from paying royalties for sound recordings, it's argued, because their play drives record sales. And new forms of radio pay royalties because the content attracts audience and drives those businesses. But, of course, as Villasenor writes, "if airtime on traditional AM and FM stations drives sales, so, too, can exposure through cable, satellite, and Internet radio. And... playing artists who people want to hear, broadcasters of all stripes attract more listeners, and can therefore charge higher fees to their advertisers or subscribers."

Villasenor calls on Congress to end terrestrial radio's performance exemption, but, "and in some respects more importantly in the long run given the inevitable transition to digital," he wants rates to be "harmonized" across platforms. He concludes, "The government should not be stacking the deck against the newest, most compelling technologies. Saddling Internet radio with high royalty rates while giving terrestrial AM and FM stations a free pass impedes the growth of a promising new way to distribute content. And, it sends a message to would-be-entrepreneurs with ideas about how to revolutionize an industry that the playing field is far from level."

Read Forbes here (and more here).

Michael Schmitt
July 3, 2012 - 12:40pm

Steve DahlThe upcoming Conclave Learning Conference will -- for the third consecutive year -- conclude with RAIN Summit Midwest. This year's conference will include a keynote presentation from radio legend Steve Dahl.

RAIN Summit Midwest will take place Friday, July 20, starting at 10am. It will feature several presentations and panels, including:

  • RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson's State of the Industry address.
  • "Many Platforms, Many Opportunities," a panel on the best multi-platform strategies. It will include Rick Greenhurt (iBiquity Digital Corporation), Steve Goldstein (Saga Communications), Samy Simpson (Eventr Real-Time Marketing & Advertising) and Mark Kassof (Mark Kassof & Company).
  • "How Stations Can Better Engage Listeners on Facebook," a presentation from knowDigital's Sam Milkman including insights into whether radio stations are truly engaging their audience on Facebook.
  • "'Pure Play' -- Radio's Most 'Direct' Competitors?" will examine the highly competitive, quickly-changing landscape of firms providing online listeners a similar experience to broadcast radio. It will include Mat Bates (Slacker).
  • "Using Social Media As a Show Prep Tool," a presentation on the best practices air talent can use on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and other services to find content for their shows. Valerie Geller (Geller Media International) will present.
  • "Streaming Strategies for Radio," a panel on the pros and cons of attracting listeners and generating revenue for your station via streaming. It will feature Michael Dalfonzo (Abacast), Kevin Straley (TuneIn) and Tyler Brookfield (Liquid Compass).
  • "What to Expect from Digital Marketing," a presentation from Ed Schindler (dmr Interactive) about the best practices for executing marketing campaigns online.
  • And, as mentioned, a keynote presentation from legendary air talent Steve Dahl. Kurt Hanson will interview the self-employed podcaster on-stage about his efforts to move the "Steve Dahl Show" to the digital age.

RAIN Summit Midwest"RAIN Summits have become a fixture at Learning Conferences," said Conclave Executive Director Tom Kay. "While everything we present during the Learning Conference carries a 'can’t miss' connation, Kurt Hanson’s annual trip to tomorrow is all that, and more!"

The 37th Conclave Learning Conference takes place Wednesday, July 18 through Friday, July 20, at the Doubletree Park Place Hotel Minneapolis, MN. Featured speakers include Governor Mike Huckabee on Thursday morning at 9AM and RAB President Erica Farber on Friday morning at 9AM.

You can find out more about the Conclave Learning Conference and register to attend at www.theconclave.com.

We hope to see you there!

Michael Schmitt
July 3, 2012 - 12:40pm

TabletsNew research predicts the popularity of tablet devices like Apple's iPad won't abate any time soon. In fact, NPD DisplaySearch expects shipments of tablets to likely outpace that of notebook computers in 2016.

"Consumer preference for mobile computing devices is shifting from notebook to tablet PCs," said Richard Shim, a senior analyst at NPD DisplaySearch. "The lines between tablet and notebook PCs are blurring."

Mashable has more coverage here.


Michael Schmitt
July 3, 2012 - 12:40pm

Rick SongClear Channel Media and Entertainment has appointed Rick Song to the position of Executive Vice President of Digital Sales. Song has 20 years of media sales and management experience, most recently serving with Microsoft.

Song will work with Clear Channel's web radio platform iHeartRadio, as well as its Strategic Partnerships, National Programming Platforms and National Advertising Platforms. He will report to Tim Castelli, President of National Sales, Marketing and Partnerships.

"Rick is an innovator and he will be an integral part of our team as we continue to further capitalize on our company's digital assets," said Castelli.