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RAIN's "WORLD NEWS THIS MORNING": SAVING RADIO, NAB vs. musicFIRST, JANGO, JAZZFM

Posted on: 02/28/2008

DELCOLLIANO, CARNEGIE SET OUT TO “SAVE RADIO: Jerry DelColliano (with Jim Carnegie) has broken down his prescription for radio’s ills into an 11-point, two-part story covered in RBR. Not surprisingly, most of the 11 items advise radio to accept the reality of a “new-tech” future, and do a far better job of preparing for it. Some gems Jerry (pictured) offers: Build a multi-platorm brand (“1. Start by seeing radio under a larger umbrella” and “8. Develop the podcasting business”); A new way to avoid untenable recording royalties (“4. Start your own Internet-based record labels”); and Create new music formats online, not on HD (“6. Internet streaming” and “7. Unplug your HD equipment”). Read the DelColliano/Carnegie piece in RBR here and here.

WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE ARTISTS? The NAB has taken out ads in a trio of D.C. rags focusing on artists who will be likewise injured by the proposed performance “tax” currently being considered by Congress. The ad, which asks “Are record labels leaving artists holding the bag?”, brings up recent lawsuits filed by artists against major record labels over unpaid royalties. The NAB has fought vigorously against record label-backed legislation that would sap money from their operations, and they say they have 150 house members on record as supporting the Local Radio Freedom Act which would block new royalties. In their own royalty battles, webcasters have also exposed artists as “fellow victims”, who would lose means of exposure, and thereby new revenue opportunities, if the stations playing them are crippled by new royalty obligations. The ad, which “answers” musicFIRST’s own from earlier this week (RAIN story here), can been seen by clicking the image.

STRIKING A DEAL WITH LABELS MAY BE A SMARTER MOVE FOR RADIO: Rather than outright attacking music industry efforts for an AM/FM performance royalty, radio would be smart to broker a mutually-beneficial deal with labels on the matter. That’s the opinion J.P. Hannan, CEO of the investment firm bearing his name (and Regent Communications board member). He suggests that in exchange for a reasonable fee to labels and performers, radio could get a “music exclusivity window” on certain new songs, giving them unique content for a limited time and a competitive advantage over other music sources. Moreover, this negotiation would be a good time to readdress the notion of “payola.” Again, within the framework of performance royalty fees, labels could waive those fees or pay radio (above the table) for airtime to break new artists. Radio could even negotiate a percentage of local music sales for acts they help break. Hannan’s column is in SeekingAlpha.com here.

FIND MUSICLIKE-MINDS” — PC WORLD REVIEWS JANGO: A PC World review in The Washington Post praises the social networking aspects of the Jango streaming service, which helps users discover new music by connecting them with like-minded music fans. (You can read previous RAIN coverage of Jango here, here, here, and here.) The review says the streams are somewhat limited (with “only 15,000 artists and 200,000 songs in rotation”) but do operate within the legal confines of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Though Jango’s “Take me to a station that happens to be playing [Song X]” feature makes us wonder…). The review is here.

JAZZFM WON’T LET UK AIRWAVES FALLJAZZ-FREE: British webcast service JazzFM will reportedly return to the airwaves on DAB, HD Radio’s counterpart platform in the UK, in the coming weeks. This announcement follows that of GCap Media, which announced it would shutter its DAB station “theJazz” (Here‘s RAIN coverage). JazzFM went “Internet-only” in 2005. GCap’s decision to sell its DAB unit worried supporters of the digital radio platform, so this move and reported success of the BBC’s 6 Music (see RAIN here) may be needed reassurance.



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