Independent Labels and Commercial Airplay 18 Months After the FCC Consent Decree and the "Rules of Engagement"
Justin Jouvenal for FMC and A2IM
Monday, October 20, 2008
This survey of A2IM label members conducted by investigative journalist Justin Jouvenal finds that indie labels are still having difficulty getting airplay on commercial radio. The report reveals near-unanimous sentiment among label owners: little has changed over the last year and a half, with 92 percent of label respondents describing their relationship to commercial radio as ?the same? as before the Consent Decree and Voluntary Agreements. read more
There’s been some buzz around FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s public backing of the XM-Sirius satellite radio merger, but we at FMC think that terrestrial radio is still worth making noise about. read more
WASHINGTON, DC – Future of Music Coalition — whose 2002 examination of radio station ownership consolidation Radio Deregulation: Has It Served Citizens and Musicians? has been cited as essential evidence by FCC Commissioners and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals — has released a new publication that provides an overview of payola in the radio industry. Released in collaboration with the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), Change That Tune: A Payola Education Guide for Musicians and Citizens makes the case that little has changed since the FCC enacted voluntary agreements between radio groups and major labels in April 2007.
In its reply comments, FMC highlights concrete ways for stations to make localism a priority, and urges the FCC to take definite steps to collect playlist data so it can track and analyze playlists in order to ensure that stations fulfill their public interest obligations. For the past four years, FMC has articulated a four-part “Fixing Radio” agenda. This agenda is focused on specific, tangible and commonsense policies that will greatly enhance the role that terrestrial radio can and should play in our society and culture.
A Payola Education Guide for Musicians and Citizens
Adam Marcus for FMC and A2IM
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Change That Tune looks at the history of payola, the development of the “indie promoter” system, the investigations by the New York State Attorney General and the FCC from 2003-2007, and the contents of the “Rules of Engagement” signed by the four largest radio companies to provide context of what it means for musicians and independent labels, and how artists are interacting with radio in the 21st century. read more
On June 11, 2008, FMC filed reply comments in the FCC’s ongoing localism docket (04-233). FMC’s comments offered highly targeted proposals designed to aid stations’ service to their local communities. FMC also urged the FCC to take definite steps to track and analyze playlists in order to fulfill their public interest obligations. read more
We found an interesting article in the latest edition of Wired about a new system for indie acts to deliver tracks to radio stations that rely on automation to manage their playlists. Well, it’s not a new system, exactly — major labels and commercial radio have been using it for years.
As Wired scribe Eliot Van Buskirk writes, “indie musicians have been at a disadvantage when it comes to delivering music to larger stations… because the major labels use something called Digital Media Distribution System (DMDS) to send new tracks to stations digitally and securely (to minimize leaks).” read more
Religious broadcasters have a reputation in noncommercial media for being well-prepared and ready to pounce on any opportunity to launch new stations. So it was no surprise last fall that many of the applicants for new, full-power noncommercial stations were religious — 60 percent, by one count.
But last October’s licensing window saw a new force in religious non-coms. There were more applications from Catholic organizations this time around. And that was no accident. read more
From January 11-15, 2008, FMC partnered once again with the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) on their 51st Annual Conference, "Presenting America: New Ground," taking place at the Hilton New York. 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