MusicDish e-Journal - January 19, 2018
MusicDish Advertising Network
Search MusicDish e-Journal (Advanced)
Subscribe To MusicDish e-Journal
About | Contact | Advertise | RSS | Submit Article | Submit News | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution
Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network

A Riddle: When is a broadcast no longer a broadcast?
Thoughts from The Kagan Streaming Broadband Summit
By Eric de Fontenay (Founder & Publisher)
(more articles from this author)
Comment | Email | Print | RSS

This has been a riddle over which the music and broadcast industries have been debating for some time now. The RIAA claims that an AM/FM broadcast, whether analog or digital, is not a broadcast once it is streamed over the Internet. Currently, AM/FM broadcasts are exempt from public performance of sound recording license obligations. The broadcast industry, understandably, argues that a broadcast is a broadcast, regardless of the delivery system, and thus exempt under the Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act from license obligations. And if we are to believe webcasters complaints about the process and terms to get a license, we can certainly sympathize. It's in this context that RIAA president & CEO, Hillary Rosen, spoke to a unenthusiastic gathering of broadcasters and webcasters at the Kagan Streaming Broadband Summit on March 1st.

Broadcasters are in line with what has been a government policy of providing a technologically neutral playing field for companies to compete in a converged media world. Traditionally, various media channels, including publishers, broadcasters, cable and communications, had been subjected to very different rules. In addition, players in one media channel often were prevented from operating in other channels. And so telephone companies were prevented from offering video and cable from offering voice, while cross-channel ownership restrictions were imposed across all industries. As illustrated by the AOL Time Warner and Bertelsmann/RTL Group mergers, though, those rules have progressively been put aside as a fragmented media industry converges around digitization and the Internet.

In keeping with this convergence, government policy has shifted from sector specific rules (ie., one set for broadcaster, another for cable,…) to technology-neutral rules. The logic is if a bit is a bit, then it really doesn't matter how it is packaged or delivered, it should still be treated as a bit. Now back to the broadcaster's argument: content and programming are nothing but bits that can be delivered through an array of delivery channels, including analog and digital terrestrial broadcast, satellite broadcast, webcast and wireless, to name a few. To treat that content/bit any differently on any of those delivery systems would skew the market, providing an advantage to one medium over the others. Simply put, if broadcasters have to pay license fees to webcast programming that they are broadcasting license-free, why would they webcast? This in turn would deprive consumers from choosing how they can access music.

The broadcasters' argument, though, misses an important fact: webcasters must and should pay mechanical licenses. If the interest is to create a level playing field, then Hillary is right in that extending the broadcast exemption to simulcasting "would not be fair for webcasters, artists or consumers." Not only would extending the exemption put webcasters at a distinct disadvantage (they already start the game at a tremendous disadvantage as compared to established broadcasters), it would lead to higher licensing fees for webcasters since labels would likely make up some perceived losses from the exemption to broadcasters - at least this is my interpretation of Hillary's remark that labels' ability to increase their returns over multiple channels would ultimately allow them to "a fairer sharing of our investment across [those] outlets."

But why are broadcasters exempt anyway? The promotional impact of radio airplay on CD sales, the major labels' cash cow, would warrant an exemption for broadcasters, one they do not enjoy in regards to performance rights since songwriters do not benefit financially from those sales. This raises the question of whether webcasters should be subject to licensing obligations at all. There is every reason to believe that as webcasting matures, it could have a much greater impact on music sales, whether downloadable or CD, particularly with one-click purchasing. And what about Napster for that matter? There is mounting evidence that Napster, which has recently started to include a direct link to, Bertelsmann-owned, CD Now in its latest software version, may in fact promote album sales. Whatever one's view, let us at least remain consistent: either we side with broadcasters and abolish the licensing regime in order to legitimize their broadcast exemption, or make broadcasters face the same rules as any other music outlet and pay their due.

AOL Time Warner -
Bertelsmann -
CD Now -
Kagan -
Napster -
RTL Group -

Related MusicDish e-Journal Articles:
» The Making of Giants - Bertelsmann Takes Aim at AOL Time Warner (2001-02-05)

Related News from Mi2N:
» Rob Glaser, Scott Kurnit And Hilary Rosen Named Keynote Speakers At Kagan Streaming Broadband Conference March 1 In New York

Home » News Beat » A Riddle: When is a broadcast no longer a broadcast?
Email |Print |Comment |RSS

back | top

MusicDish Advertising Network

News Beat

» Mixcloud Taps Gracenote for Advanced Music Recognition

» Copyright Royalty Board Increases Sirius XM Royalty Rate

» Live Entertainment Specialists Headliner Launch Premium Artist Booking Service

» Nordic & British Musicians' Unions' Joint Statement on Sexism in the Music Industry

» Women Make An Impact On The 2018 MPG Awards Shortlist

News Beat Directory

» [2017-12-25] MusicDish*China Presents 'Savage Guitarist' Todd Clouser In Beijing; As Part Of His #YouTheBrave Asia Tour That Includes 8 Shows Across Japan, Todd Will Be Giving Solo Shows At Laifu Livehouse On 12/27 And Temple Bar On 12/28

» [2017-12-20] Mixcloud Taps Gracenote For Advanced Music Recognition; Next-generation Audio Fingerprinting Helps Mixcloud Identify And Catalog Copyrighted Music Within User-generated Content

» [2017-12-18] Copyright Royalty Board Increases Sirius XM Royalty Rate; Judges Announce Royalty Rates And Terms For Satellite Audio Radio Services (SDARS) And Preexisting Subscription Services

» [2017-12-06] Lithuanian Band Grabs Bronze At The Silk Road Indie Music Festival 2017; Antikvariniai Kašpirovskio Dantys Competed With Bands From Belgium, Sweden, Armenia, Germany, Japan, South Africa, India, Norway, Poland, Italy And The UK As Well As China

» [2017-12-06] Live Entertainment Specialists Headliner Launch Premium Artist Booking Service; A Fully-managed Service That Simplifies The Process Of Booking Renowned Artists And Performers For Occasional Event Planners, Agencies And Brands

» [2017-11-27] Voice-Controlled Speakers & The Music We Listen Too; Music Is A Major Part Of The Way Amazon Echo And Google Home Owners Interact With Their Devices

» [2017-11-21] Nordic & British Musicians' Unions' Joint Statement On Sexism In The Music Industry; Discussions On The Issue Of Gender Inequality, Sexism And Sexual Harassment, The Scale Of Which Had Been Highlighted By The Recent #metoo Campaign

» [2017-11-13] Women Make An Impact On The 2018 MPG Awards Shortlist; Nearly A Quarter Of Those Named This Year Are Female, Proving That Music Production Is No Longer A Bastion For The Boys

» [2017-11-13] The Nashville Musicians Sound Healthcare Plan Rolls Out; Sound Healthcare & Financial Announced The Formation Of A True Group Health Insurance Policy Plan For Musicians And Industry Professionals

» [2017-11-09] Streaming & Listening Diversity - Spotify Case Study; Will Artists Have An Easier Time Finding An Audience, Or Will Streaming Focus Global Attention On A Small Number Of Stars?

» [2017-11-09] Two-Sides Of Copyright Finance: Sound Royalties & Kobalt; Sound Royalties Unearths Millions In Undistributed Royalties While Kobalt Launches Fund To Invest In Music Copyright

» [2017-11-08] Career Moves: ROLI, Live Nation Sweden, Music Glue, BBR Music Group, Warner/Chappell Music Spain & Blue Night Soundscapes; ROLI Chief Creative Officer, Live Nation Sweden Managing Directors, Music Glue Global Head Of Business Development, BBR Music Group VP Of International, Warner/Chappell Music Spain Managing Director And Blue Night Director Of Music Clearance
MusicDish Advertising Network

follow MusicDish on
Follow MusicDish on Twitter

Mi2N Music PR

The International Music Consulting Firm GINGIO Hosts Events At NAMM And Grammy Weeks

MarilynMusic Places Five New Songs With Altino Music

Award Winning Singer/Songwriter Craymo Releases December Rain (Carol Of Love) To Radio

For Folk's Sake Premieres Katie Garibaldi's 'Unhappy Holiday' Honky Tonk Music Video Debuts Claymation Music Video For 'Star In The East' By Katie Garibaldi

Veteran Recording Artist Jerri BoKeno Rekindles Holiday Jewel "This Christmas"

The Ed Sheeran Of The Hare Krishna World: Meet Cyril Wohrer

Websites: Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network
Services: Submit Article | Submit News | Submit Video | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution

Copyright © 1997-2018 MusicDish LLC., all rights reserved.
About MusicDish e-Journal | Contact Us | Advertise | RSS | Internships