AM/FM Act Would Change Royalties for NCE Radio Stations

Submitted by Josh Wilson on Mon, 12/09/2019 - 22:00

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, the AM/FM (Ask Musicians For Music, HR 5219) act was introduced in U.S. Congress. 

It’s the latest version of a bill dealing with the creation of a performance royalty for AM/FM radio. 

At present, terrestrial-broadcast radio doesn’t pay musicians or the audio-recording owners in the United States — although songwriters and publishers do get paid via licensing agencies such as ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.

The Future of Music Coalition has helped ensure this bill locks in a $100 annual cap in royalty fees paid by NCE stations, including LPFMs 

Although the bill is unlikely to pass — impeachment has taken over Beltway priorities — a Future of Music Coalition representative said that merely introducing the bill can be considered an invitation to negotiations with the National Association of Broadcasters. 

it can also be considered a "goodwill gesture" from artists and labels, ensuring that small broadcasters are not damaged by the legislation’s fee structure. 

We at Common Frequency want to help support the bill, despite the odds. It represents a hopeful change in music licensing that will support NC/E broadcasters and LPFMs, and will be met with at least anxiety by NAB’s lobbyists.