WASHINGTON, DC -- A majority of the House of Representatives now supports the Local Radio Freedom Act, a resolution that opposes "any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge" on local broadcast radio stations. The resolution, which was introduced in Congress less than eight months ago, has 218 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and 23 in the Senate.
"Local radio stations and the record industry have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship for decades that has spurred enormous music creation by new and established artists," said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. "We applaud lawmakers for opposing a job-killing performance royalty that would damage this partnership and hurt local radio's ability to serve our communities. Broadcasters across the country look forward to continuing to provide billions of dollars in promotional value for free radio airplay."
Adding their support for the Local Radio Freedom Act in the House are Rep. Andre Carson (IN-7), Dan Donovan (NY-11), Barry Loudermilk (GA-11), Martha Roby (AL-2), Terri Sewell (AL-7) and Mark Walker (NC-6). Sens. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) have joined as a co-sponsor of the companion resolution in the Senate.
Reps. Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Gene Green (D-TX) are the principal sponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act (H. Con. Res. 17) in the House of Representatives. Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) are the principal sponsors of the companion resolution (S. Con. Res. 4) in the Senate.
"Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over-the-air, or on any business for such public performance of sound recordings," reads the Local Radio Freedom Act.
The 218 House co-sponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act include (new co-sponsors in bold):
Ralph Abraham (LA-5)
Frank Guinta (NH-1)
Pedro Pierluisi (PR-AL)
The Local Radio Freedom Act's 23 Senate cosponsors are (new co-sponsors in bold):
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
John Hoeven (R-ND)
On numerous occasions, both record label executives and artists have recognized the promotional value of free radio airplay. Recent statements include:
"Let's Go" is now #1 on the U.S. Classic Rock Radio! Thanks to our great fans for supporting! https://youtu.be/IbQ6Cp8lD2o
-- Tweet by Def Leppard, October 7, 2015
... @TheBrentSmith long Live #RADIO. Thank you so much to all the PD'S around the world that have allowed us to have a voice. Thank you!!!
-- Tweet by hard rock band Shinedown, August 11, 2015
"I haven’t gotten a lot of awards, but one thing I did have was great support from country radio. Radio was and is magic to my ears. Thank you for being that voice in my ear. And thank you for honoring me tonight."
-- Singer-songwriter Dwight Yoakam accepting Career Achievement Award from Country Radio Broadcasters, June 25, 2015
I have SO MUCH mad love for pop radio! Bad Blood just became the 4th single off of 1989 to go #1!! Stoked to share this with @kendricklamar
-- Tweet by Taylor Swift, June 22, 2015
"One day you hear something you wrote on the radio for the first time – Boom, greatest job in the world."
-- Songwriter Lee Thomas Miller at Key West Songwriters Festival, May 15, 2015
"Listen guys, what an amazing night of music ... thank you to my wife, my kids ... my fans, country radio."
-- Country star Luke Bryan accepting the Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year Award, April 19, 2015
“When you decide you want to be a singer, and you think about it and dream about it all of your life, and then you finally hear that first note, and then your voice comes on the radio, it’s like…it still never gets old to me. I still get excited when I hear my songs on the radio. It’s just a cool feeling."
-- Country star Miranda Lambert, April 14, 2015
Gotta give a shout out to all the radio stations playing DAY ONE! Thank you so much for letting me share my new music with the world!-Mw
-- Tweet by Contemporary Christian musician Matthew West, April 8, 2015
"We cannot break artists without radio. We really trust and respect radio and its gatekeepers. So if [radio] goes into that relationship without cynicism and with a positive and optimistic view, your growth and ours are attached, then I think things are great.
"People love streaming and the more smartphones we have the more streaming there is going to be, but they also love listening to the radio. We are a company that loves being on radio."
-- Glassnote Records CEO Daniel Glass, SXSW, March 26, 2015
"Certainly radio will be a part of our [Empire] campaign, but we want to develop a smart campaign for the songs. When we're marketing music, radio is absolutely a part of that. We hope this music is played on radio."
-- Columbia Records Senior VP of Marketing Doneen Lombardi, TV Insider, March 18, 2015
Thank you to all of the radio station's and fans for making "Face Everything And Rise" #1!!! Keep requesting! #FEAR
-- Tweet by Papa Roach, March 3, 2015
"It's the most important relationship. When you start out as an artist, you get to basically go on this six-month radio tour and you are blindsiding these people, getting to go into their conference room with just you and a guitar and getting to play them three songs you think they should add to their radio cycle. It's amazing how they get to know us and believe in us and champion for us and allow us to have Number One songs."
-- Country musician Thomas Rhett, "Why Country Radio Still Matters," Rolling Stone, February 25, 2015
"You can ask people in the building, and I can be quoted several times a day, 'If you're not on country radio, you don't exist.' Again I can't think of one star, much less superstar in country music, who wasn't broken by country radio. It's just a fact. That's where the active audience is. That's where they go to listen to it. People talk about, 'It's a media act. It's a groundswell. We're going to build it virally.' That's all nice, but I defy you to tell me one act that made it big without country radio. And they're great partners."
-- Sony Nashville Nashville Chairman and CEO Gary Overton, The Tennessean, February 21, 2015
"Radio is how we reached the fans. When I was coming up, everyone was listening to their local station. And those stations really wanted to know who the artists were, and really took the idea they were the bridge seriously. When the disc jockeys talked about the records, a lot of times they talked about the artists, and that helped build a sense of who we were, too."
-- Country music superstar Kenny Chesney, Radio Ink, February 17, 2015
I forgot to thank the DJ's & radio stations who did the mega missy mixes tribute I'm grateful!
-- Tweet from rapper Missy Elliott following her Super Bowl XLIX appearance, February 2, 2015
"There is no room for error, so labels and radio are partners more than ever before."
-- Charlie Walk, executive vp of Republic Records, Billboard roundtable with execs from radio and recording businesses, January 17, 2015
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.