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OT: Proposed Tax on Music Played on Radio


DonaldM

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Harrumph. :mad:

 

Broadcast radio is already in the Crapper.

 

This segment of the music industry has gone to hell in a handbasket and has no idea what to do next.

 

Of course there will always be grass roots efforts. Many people still enjoy attending a live performance. And many still enjoy performing for others. Music is a great conduit for human emotion - it's not going away.

 

It's a damn shame the suits got involved. Greed has destroyed the distribution channels. Musical growth within popular music has stagnated in regards to melody, harmony, and rhythm.

 

As a guy over fifty (50), I will not exclaim that today's popular music sucks. That would simply make me sound like an old guy.

 

Here's a good exercise: List five popular tunes from 2009 that have fresh and interesting ideas with regards to composition, melody, harmony, lyrics, and rhythm.

 

Many of us have heard the same popular music from the radio since we were kids. Most of the tunes have been played so often that I have no interest in local FM radio anymore.

 

Sure - I listen to PBS stations for anything I can find. My friends listen to XM - I'll get that when I buy a new car... one day.

 

But go ahead - tax the music. FM radio is already dead.

 

I really don't care anymore. :rolleyes:

 

Tom

 

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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As a musician, I really feel I should be compensated when something I contributed to airs and helps the station create a profit.

 

As a huge fan of my local college station that plays stuff that NOBODY has ever heard of, but deserves to be heard - I'd hate it if a new fee stifled the creative programming there.

 

As an enemy of the major labels, *anything* that puts a single extra dime (like the "360 deal" Lady Gaga had to sign) in the pockets of the suits is a bad thing.

 

Where does *that* leave us?

Les Mizzell

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As a huge fan of my local college station that plays stuff that NOBODY has ever heard of, but deserves to be heard - I'd hate it if a new fee stifled the creative programming there.
As it is, the fees that public radio stations have to pay BMI and ASCAP are very, very negligible. Commercial stations have to pay more because the music is their selling point.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Don't they already pay for the music they play? I don't quite understand this, but then I haven't been reading my ASCAP 'Daily Brief' lately.

 

Only the songwriters get paid, the musicians get nothing.

 

Do you think taxation and more government in music is going to help with that?

--wmp
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Don't they already pay for the music they play? I don't quite understand this, but then I haven't been reading my ASCAP 'Daily Brief' lately.

 

Only the songwriters get paid, the musicians get nothing.

 

Do you think taxation and more government in music is going to help with that?

 

My opinions don't matter in the slightest, I'm not a congressman and don't vote on bills. I can only tell you what the bill is about. What you're looking at in the link is a site paid for by Clear Channel. There are obviously two sides to every story.

 

If there are any union members here, they have been getting emails from the union Prez that show the other side. I'm gonna be honest: I would benefit from this. :laugh: So would Steve Nathan. So would a lot of people here.

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Don't they already pay for the music they play? I don't quite understand this, but then I haven't been reading my ASCAP 'Daily Brief' lately.

 

Only the songwriters get paid, the musicians get nothing.

 

That's what I thought. No disrespect, but that's the way it's been for a very long time, and everything has worked out okay, hasn't it?

 

Wouldn't something like this just annihilate the ability of radio stations to play music that features large bodies of union players? Wouldn't this just destroy struggling small classical stations? Won't this just drive producers to use more non union musos, creating even less work for you?

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We often talk about the countries like China where there is no intellectual copyright protection. We don't often talk about countries, mostly western countries, where there are such protections and the people involved in creating the PRODUCT which is being used to generate MONEY get to participate in the gains.

 

I don't know why I'm still surprised at this point, but I'm always amazed at musicians who work as shills for money grubbers like Clear Channel, promoting the idea that somehow things will be worse for all of us if the people who create the content that we enjoy are able to make a living from creating that content. Never mind that Lowry Mays has made so much money from the creations of musicians that he has an entire college with his name on it at Texas A&M, and pulls down quite a few million dollars a year. (Last time I checked, it as tens of thousands per minute... but that we almost ten years ago.)

 

But that's okay. Soon we'll all be wearing paper hats and asking , "You want fries with that?" Because, you know, like, music should be free....

 

Be proud. You are a part of the generation that single-handedly brought down the entire music industry. Looks like musicians and songwriters are next on your list.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Don't they already pay for the music they play? I don't quite understand this, but then I haven't been reading my ASCAP 'Daily Brief' lately.

 

Only the songwriters get paid, the musicians get nothing.

 

That's what I thought. No disrespect, but that's the way it's been for a very long time, and everything has worked out okay, hasn't it?

 

 

Ask the theremin player on "Good Vibrations" how well it worked out for him. :laugh: Ask my friend who played violin on Sgt Pepper how it worked out: he got 50 bucks. No, for them it didnt work out very good at all.

 

Wouldn't something like this just annihilate the ability of radio stations to play music that features large bodies of union players?

 

It's a flat fee, similiar to ASCAP I assume. The station wouldnt differentiate between playing a song with 2 players or one with 50. It's divided up after the fact based on recording credits. Again, I can only assume things at this point, just like everybody else can.

 

Wouldn't this just destroy struggling small classical stations?

 

I don't think there are any left. There are exceptions in the bill for "educational" content etc. I don't know what qualifies for that.

 

Won't this just drive producers to use more non union musos, creating even less work for you?

 

They do already, or take the work overseas. The union has priced most recording musicians out of business. At this point it would probably only help for work you have already done.

 

I play on two megahits from the 90s, Losing my Religion and Shiny Happy People with REM. Those songs are still on the radio a lot. I would probably get some money every year from them if this would pass. I get money from AFTRA (film and TV) every year since they are used in movies, but none from radio.

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Even ASCAP, BMI, et al., have "problems" that need to be fixed before everything is fair and equatable though. How many of you are aware that a one minute custom instrumental score cue

for film or TV is paid only 20%, by ASCAP, of what a one minute song cue is paid ('song' defined as *anything* with lyrics), even if the song is buried in the background of a scene?

 

ASCAP collects a "flat fee", right? So why the discrimination?

 

I'm going to have to agree with Bill@Welcome Home Studios. *WE*, the musicians and composers have let ourselves fall into this trap.

Les Mizzell

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Don't they already pay for the music they play? I don't quite understand this, but then I haven't been reading my ASCAP 'Daily Brief' lately.

 

Only the songwriters get paid, the musicians get nothing.

 

Do you think taxation and more government in music is going to help with that?

 

That's my issue - taxes = government involvement...and gov't involvement in just about anything spells trouble! And I don't see how this increases the music listening options.

There are 10 kinds of people in the world...those who can read binary, and those who can't.
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That's my issue - taxes = government involvement...and gov't involvement in just about anything spells trouble! And I don't see how this increases the music listening options.

 

Here's the bitter reality:

 

This is a bill about a handful of rich guys. It's about ClearChannelesque rich guys against Sonyesque rich guys, it's a transference of wealth. Some music industry rich guys dropped off two Brinks trucks full of cash to the homes of Conyers and Leahy, who otherwise wouldn't give a crap about any of this.

 

If the bill passes, than the ClearChannelesque rich Guys have to pay a fee to the Sonyesque rich guys, it's pretty simple. A small, small, small portion of that will trickle down like toaster leavins to guys like me, we'll be thrown some crumbs as the "face" of why they are doing this.

 

The small fry of course will suffer. Since Joe ClearChannel guy will end up with less cash, he'll fire 900 more people to make up the difference. Yes, some small radio stations will probably be the victims too, and they will fold. That's a shame really, as the thought behind the bill is not even about them, they arent involved in the battle of the rich guys.

 

Musicians have gotten the shaft for years over this issue. The tragedy here is that it makes the musician look like the bad guy, since "it's always been this way". Correct, it's always been that musicians got screwed outta the deal, it's time to change that. Who's gonna pay? Small-fry radio guy.

 

On a personal level as a musician, it's about the guy at the radio station paying his rent, or me paying my rent. Which one to choose?? :laugh: The answer is pretty obvious to everyone. Websites like the one linked to will try to convnce people that this is about "Rich Rock Stars" or some other garbage. It's not, it's about rich executives. The trickle-down crumbs will either go to a radio station employee and not a musician, or a musician and not a radio station employee. I'm for musicians since I am one. Sorry, radio station guy.

 

This bill is 50 years overdue and is here for all the wrong reasons. Nonetheless, it is here.

 

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I can say with some certainty that no station will fold. Radio stations are selling at diamond prices, and the revenue that they generate is substantial. Any station that folds does so because its owner wants all the cash now, not because it cannot generate cash. It is a sellers market.

 

In terms of Clear Channel firing some low-wage guy, count on it. This has always been a part of their business model... automate, and replace. Their early goal was to replace local talent with national syndicated talent and jump all the DJs, but that didn't work out so well for them. But the firings will have nothing to do with any bill that gets passed and everything to do with their goal of making money and maximizing profits. You may know that they bought up as many local promoters as they could, rolled their operations into as few regional promoters as they could manage firing everyone in sight. At the same time, they had given acts like Dave Mathews and Tom Petty and others way more than they were worth to play multiple dates in their sheds rather than launch independent stadium summer tours, trying to hurt the independent promoters who had not caved in to their purchase demands. This wasted millions. Firing $20k a year workers could recoup that. So they spun off that portion of the business because it was not profitable enough.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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..and gov't involvement in just about anything spells trouble! And I don't see how this increases the music listening options.

 

Don,

 

I agree with you, there's no government like no government.

 

But it might really be time for the government to step in here ands a few other places. You may already know that many aspects of our environment are under siege because the people who run the governmental oversight bodies are members of the very organizations that they are supposed to be keeping in check. Well, the FCC has become so compromised that I'm surprised that they aren't blushing when they appear in public. They are doing NOTHING for you and everything for Big Corporations. (Unlike other threads in which I was attacked and my post removed for taking a political stance when it was actually an economic stance, this actually IS a political position. But it is also fact. You can yank it if you will. Bush never saw a billionare he didn't like.)

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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This is where I got yanked in the past. I was left with the understanding that you can talk about political ramifications on our lives as musicians. You just can't do it here. I once fought pretty hard against this, but the truth is, there aren't enough grownups.

 

So without touching on the verboten:

Radio (dead or otherwise) sells advertising and makes money. They use the work of musicians to draw listeners to hear those ads, and collect payments from the advertisers and they don't give any of that money to the creators of the product they depend on for their living.

We can veer off into the digital frontier and have some vivid discussions about the future of music and the Evil Empire, but the fact remains, they use our work for profit and they screw us out of any participation.

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...the fact remains, they use our work for profit and they screw us out of any participation.

 

So, with the industry the way it is - and the outlook for the immediate future glum - why would anybody pursue the career of a musician in today's hostile environment?

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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...the fact remains, they use our work for profit and they screw us out of any participation.

 

So, with the industry the way it is - and the outlook for the immediate future glum - why would anybody pursue the career of a musician in today's hostile environment?

 

 

Maybe the selling point for the career (besides of course the mandatory nubile chicks that come with it) will now be:

 

Be a musician. They pay you every time you're on the radio! :laugh:

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So, with the industry the way it is - and the outlook for the immediate future glum - why would anybody pursue the career of a musician in today's hostile environment?
1) Passion.

2) Because people are proving you *can* make a living making music, just not in the ways many of us are brought up to believe. For most, the old "get a big record contract and get famous" model is dead, but being independent and selling enough CDs, merch, etc. on your own is the way to go.

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So, with the industry the way it is - and the outlook for the immediate future glum - why would anybody pursue the career of a musician in today's hostile environment?
1) Passion.

2) Because people are proving you *can* make a living making music, just not in the ways many of us are brought up to believe. For most, the old "get a big record contract and get famous" model is dead, but being independent and selling enough CDs, merch, etc. on your own is the way to go.

 

Right. Perhaps some of the impetus behind this idea is the fact that more and more folks are getting their music through non-radio means: ie the internet. The days of only listening to what the disc jockey plays (or worse, what the pre-programmed program plays!) are way long gone. That's why iPod begins with the letter "I". And now you can personalize your radio station on the internet.

 

I wonder if music even drives people to the radio anymore?!

There are 10 kinds of people in the world...those who can read binary, and those who can't.
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So, with the industry the way it is - and the outlook for the immediate future glum - why would anybody pursue the career of a musician in today's hostile environment?
1) Passion.

2) Because people are proving you *can* make a living making music, just not in the ways many of us are brought up to believe. For most, the old "get a big record contract and get famous" model is dead, but being independent and selling enough CDs, merch, etc. on your own is the way to go.

 

Right. Perhaps some of the impetus behind this idea is the fact that more and more folks are getting their music through non-radio means: ie the internet. The days of only listening to what the disc jockey plays (or worse, what the pre-programmed program plays!) are way long gone. That's why iPod begins with the letter "I". And now you can personalize your radio station on the internet.

 

I wonder if music even drives people to the radio anymore?!

 

People have more choices, but radio is still very much in the game. TV didnt kill the movies, it added to the amount of entertainment choices.

 

I suppose there is a huge demographic split between younger and older people. I don't own an i-pod. I listen to my trusty Delco radio in my old Buick, it has a cassette player but I havent seen a cassette in about 15 years. I listen to the classical stations and the classic rock stations.

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I'm a proponent of musicians getting everything they deserve for the product they help to create.

 

I hope this "tax" will help musicians especially those entrenched professionals who may or may not be able to take advantage of the future music business model.

 

Regardless of how one feels about the music, early Hip-Hop record companies had the right idea but sold out to major labels being greedy and believing they needed them in order to have greater market penetration.

 

Along similar lines and having heard the horror stories of artists and musicians getting shafted, I believe the future is a stronger independent movement where artists, bands and musicians will handle their own business from top to bottom and control the "suits" instead of the other way around.

 

When independent companies are selling major units, both big record companies and radio (terrestrial and satellite) will have to come correct with better deals ultimately resulting in more money to the folks responsible for creating the music. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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My understanding is this TAX is not to pay musicians but another avenue for government funds and redistribution of wealth.

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

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My understanding is this TAX is not to pay musicians but another avenue for government funds and redistribution of wealth.

 

It is fair to assume that any tax is not going to be to your advantage. Here in Western PA they enacted a refional tax supposedly to support cultural endeavors. 94% goes to the sports teams the Pirates, Penguins, and Steelers (because we all know how little they pay their team members...) while 150 arts organizations split the remaining 6%. Still, 6% is better than nothing.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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On one hand, I'm all for musicians getting paid appropriately for their contributions. Therefore I'm all for the concept of unions. Unfortunately, the reality is very different; so I'm very anti-union as it exists today. I anticipate that this bill will end in the same result; government corruption and corporate greed winning out, and the little guy musician eeking out his meager crumbs; if indeed corporate allows the crumbs to make it down here at all.

 

I'm gonna have to agree with Tom on this one. Let it -all- crash and burn. Sodom and Gomorrah. Let all music radio die, leaving only talk radio in it's wake. Let the record labels and music video channels all dissolve. Will the public really care? I doubt it. They're too busy downloading everything for free off the web anyhow. Most new cars have audio inputs for iPods anyway, so music will still be playing regardless. Perhaps after a significant period of time goes by, people will start to notice the lack of new music and a musical renaissance will occur. Then most likely the cycle will begin again, until someone figures out a way that audio can't be copied or widely distributed online. I'm firmly convinced that if you give society an opportunity to steal without getting caught, they will steal every time. They'll couch it in socio/political/economic excuses, but ultimately it all comes down to the fact that the technology makes it so damn easy to steal, and everyone wants something for nothing; whether musicians starve as a result or not.

 

The "new music business paradigm" that others tout is that of selling cd's at live performances. Very meager business model. Not financially worth it in my view, but that's just me. What if you're a talented recording artist, but aren't into the visual theatrics of a "stage performance"? I guess you can sell to a small audience from an online website, but again; is it worth it? Depends on what you're trying to get out of it. Fame and notoriety, I guess; if that's important to you. Seems like the only remaining real money in the biz is in soundtracks for movies, tv and videogames, and live touring for big names. DJ's seem to be taking over the wedding and banquet business, and live bands are working less and less. The amount of live musicians on each Broadway show (in NY and on tour) are diminishing as well. Yeah, you can still play in bars, but that's monetarily questionable as well.

 

It's all slowly grinding to a halt, and at this point if this bill helps it to crash any faster, my new attitude is "Yeah, go for it. Why not?"

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It's all slowly grinding to a halt, and at this point if this bill helps it to crash any faster, my new attitude is "Yeah, go for it. Why not?"

 

I'm inclined to agree, but the problem is that, metaphorically speaking, this isn't a natural wildfire from which new growth will sprout -- this is chemically burning the soil so that nothing can ever grow in it.

 

These laws, taxes, fees, regulations, and other legal interferences won't go away once it becomes impossible for local radio stations to exist independent of a network. They'll still be there, barring any grassroots entry into the market, and even stifling major corporations that wish to compete with established networks.

 

And when musicians and minor labels find new ways to exist and thrive, the predators will move onto new ground. Every few months, there's talk of a VAT on internet sales; I imagine one isn't too far from manifesting, and expect many are licking their lips over the prospect of getting their fangs into Apple, Napster, Amazon.com, CDNow, and others.

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