Here’s the first installment of an excellent article by hip-hop writer Eric K. Arnold that examines the effects of media consolidation on the urban radio format.
Arnold is an authority on this subject; his recent cover story for SF Weekly, “The Demise of Hyphy,” looked at the role of commercial stations in local communities and the impact they have on music and culture. The article has sparked a great deal of conversation in the Bay Area and beyond. (A full author bio can be found at the end of the post). read more
FMC has spent a goodly amount of time supporting the creation of a public performance right for sound recordings, which would require terrestrial radio broadcasters to pay performers and labels for the recordings they play. It’s been a while since we addressed the issue, so allow us to recap.
Currently, when you hear a song on over-the-air broadcast radio in the US, the composer/songwriter/publisher are compensated for that “public performance” via ASCAP/BMI/SESAC, but the performer and record label are not. Meaning, if you hear Sinead O’Connor’s version of “Nothing Compares 2 U” on the radio, only the songwriter (Prince) and the publisher receive payment; Sinead (and her label) are left out. read more
Ah, election season. When we at FMC aren’t checking returns, we somehow find the time to address those pressing issues at the intersection of music, technology, law and policy. February has been a hectic and exciting month for us, what with the arrival of our sparkling new Executive Director, Ann Chaitovitz. Most of us on staff already know her pretty well, but we wanted to give her a chance to say hi to all of you, too.
Hello from Executive Director Ann Chaitovitz!
OK Go and Bonerama release EP, play shows for New Orleans musicians
FMC’s Brian Zisk presents the SanFran MusicTech conference
FMC at Arts Presenters: wrap-up
Policy Update - LPFM
Full-Power Licensing Blog Series
Updated Fact Sheets for 2008
Educational materials & survey for New York State musicians
Education Director Kristin Thomson at McGill University in Montreal
Local Media, Democracy & Justice Summit in Pasadena, CA
This post is the first in a series about last October’s full-power, non-commercial licensing window opened by the FCC. Mike Janssen, project manager for FMC’s Full Power Initiative, will provide an up-close look at several applicants, while examining what this process could mean for listeners. read more
The latest issue of Wired has a short, one-page article called “Why Things Suck: Radio.” We’re guessing it’s a part of a series, but we can’t remember having ever seen it before. We’re probably too fixated on their “What’s Inside” column, where you can find out about all the bizarre stuff in everyday consumer products.
But let’s get back to radio and suckiness. The piece does a fair job of itemizing the reasons the commercial dial is often devoid of actual entertainment. Public (airwaves) Enemy Number One? Profit-hungry conglomerates like Clear Channel: read more
They say you better listen to the voice of reason / But they don’t give you any choice ‘cause they think that it’s treason. . .
-Elvis Costello, “Radio, Radio”
In the course of doing some internal research here at Future of Music Coalition, we rediscovered a fantastic article by John Nova Lomax, which ran in Houston Press back in January. The piece is all about how the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 resulted in the appalling homogenization of the commercial airwaves.
In the story, Lomax lays bare the tactics through which the National Association of Broadcasters claims diversity on the dial. FMC Executive Director Jenny Toomey is quoted heavily: read more
The dearth of musical variety on the airwaves these days is much bemoaned and well documented. In 2002 an FMC study provided early evidence that the deregulation of the radio industry had resulted in less musical diversity among stations, a situation that hadn’t changed much by 2006. So it’s no wonder that frustrated music lovers are turning off their radios and plugging in their iPods, flipping to satellite radio or taking refuge in the blissfully eclectic world of webcasting. But don’t give up on old FM radio just yet. It could soon welcome a wave of sonic innovators. read more
Clear Channel responded Friday to FMC’s Request for a Declaratory Ruling, which we filed at the FCC over the chain’s attempts to strip indie artists of performance royalties in exchange for airplay.
Clear Channel officially announced it had revised the language on its licensing agreement (for a fuller discussion see this blog posting). In media reports, Clear Channel officials said, “FMC’s allegations of a ‘payola-like scheme’ are irresponsible and totally false.”
Here is why we made the complaint and why it’s significant. read more
Yesterday, the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on the Future of Radio. This hearing was set up to address a range of issues — LPFM, ownership, royalties, public radio, etc — but after a New York Times article last week disclosed that FCC’s Chairman Kevin Martin was considering a fast track effort to loosening media ownership rules even further, the Senators also used this time to send a message to the FCC, reminding the commission that a bi-partisan majority had objected to the efforts to deregulate media in 2003, and the Senate was ready to do so again. read more