On Thursday morning, Clear Channel Music + Entertainment announced its first revenue-sharing deal with a major label, a wide-reaching partnership with Warner Music Group. Now the musicFIRST Coalition has weighed in on the matter, as Executive Director Ted Kalo said in a statement that while the organization applauds the deal, it is no substitute for an actual performance royalty for the whole industry.
Kalo's statement reads: "While we applaud Warner Music and Clear Channel for working together on a deal that allows more artists to share revenue and we appreciate the forward leaning, pro-artist sentiments expressed by Clear Channelís leadership, these deals are no substitute for a real, industry-wide AM/FM performance right.
"Unfortunately, Clear Channel and its trade association, the National Association of Broadcasters, have been the principal roadblocks to ending the loophole that allows AM/FM broadcast radio alone to take music without paying artists or labels. Negotiations are good ó but no one can say they are a complete solution when only one side at the table has rights to deal. And no one can dispute that, if creators had such a right, all creators (not just those on labels that negotiated a deal) would be more justly compensated.
"The NAB faced a brutal week on Capitol Hill, with lawmakers pointing out its hypocrisy in arguing that video creators must be paid for their work while music creators should not. Isnít it time for the NAB to be consistent and principled rather than hypocritical?
"Only a legal performance right will provide artists, including non-featured artists, the security they deserve: the right to be paid for their work. And only a legal right will create reciprocity for foreign radio airplay so that artists can receive an estimated $100 million a year in income from overseas.
"If Clear Channelís leadership is as forward thinking and pro-artist as their statements suggest, we hope they will at long last publicly break from the NABís obstruction of a performance right. Mr. Pittman says that artists and broadcasters need to be 'more supportive of each otherís needs.í Supporting a real performance right would be a good place to start."