Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stop the greedy. Boycott Bono

Radio has been with you all your lives. Radio plays the Christmas music for you that you never buy. Radio introduces you to new artists you have never heard of. Radio keeps you up to date on the community you live in and connects you with the culture you belong to.

Radio plays the single from the new artist who then gains popularity, makes new music, and then goes on to be one of the biggest super stars in the world. A single radio station group pays hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for the rights to play this music; for the right to give FREE publicity to this superstar artist. Now this artist, along with dozens of others and the RIAA are pushing legislation on Capitol Hill that will force broadcasters to virtually DOUBLE the fees they pay to play music on air.

The super star artist I talk about is U2’s Bono, along with other big names like Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins and the R&B group the Black Eyed Peas. These artists would be flipping burgers without radio, not famous, unknown to you and your friends. They would not be at concerts held by radio stations in their honor or being primped and gifted at meet and greets.

This “Performance Tax” is pushed by the RIAA, artists and record labels as something they need to survive, something radio owes them. In case anyone didn’t notice, nearly every broadcasting company in this country is down in revenue in the past few years, some as much as 50%. Radio has been shrinking for more time than that. And they want stations to double what they pay? The artists need to be responsible and learn how to negotiate better contracts with their labels, not try to steal from a wounded ally who built them up.

See, there is a law called Payola. This law makes it illegal for labels to PAY RADIO to play songs. Hmm, why would that be illegal? Are you saying artists would give anything to get on the radio? That radio gives a competitive advantage to those who get on its airwaves? And yet by the artists’ claims now, radio should be paying even more for the right to play their song. It’s fucking bizzaro world.

I call on you to boycott U2. I call on you to boycott the Black Eyed Peas. I call on you to boycott the Smashing Pumpkins. I call on you to read the news on this issue and discover who else is trying to cut off music’s nose in spite of its face.

Call your legislator, tell them to support radio. Tell them you as a listener think fair is already fair enough.

If you don’t, one day soon you’ll turn your radio on and hear nothing at all.


Ken said...

The funny thing is that these are three bands that I already turn the station for. Because I can't fucking stand any of them (especially U2).