Is Radio Bad For Music? Not Really, But The RIAA Will Say So

from the misunderstanding-markets dept

Remember a few months back when the RIAA started asking the government to get radio stations to pay up for promoting their music? This seemed pretty ludicrous (especially when you add in the fact that record labels for years have paid radio stations via payola to get them to play their music in the first place). Well, the group organized by the RIAA to push this plan has found a professor to publish a study saying that radio actually makes people buy less music. This way, they can claim that radio actually is not a promotional medium for music. Of course, there are a ton of questions about the methodology of this. First of all, if this were actually true, why has the entire history of music radio included the recording industry payola to get songs played? If radio really wasn't promoting sales of records, then why would they keep doing it, even after getting fined over and over and over again. Clearly, the record labels know that there's a benefit in being on the radio. However, even if it is true that radio decreases the demand for albums, nowhere is it explained why this is a problem that the government should solve. Whether or not radio promotes album sales, it clearly promotes music and that opens up all kinds of opportunities for the musicians to make money. The fact that the record labels are unable to capitalize on that is a marketing problem -- which doesn't need a government-backed tax on radio stations to fix. Update: And W. B. McNamara shows up with an excellent explanation that could explain the numbers in the report that suggest it's not "radio" that decreased buying interest -- it's crappy radio, driven by radio consolidation and homogenization.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Bored, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 6:51am

    First!!! yeee haaaa!

     

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    Overcast, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 7:05am

    Yes, GET ALL MUSIC OFF THE RADIO!! It's just GIVING away free music, OMG OMG OMG!!!

     

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      Brad, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 9:55am

      Re:

      It's not free. It's ad supported. Big difference. Radio stations pay the musicians every time they play a song. Payola just helped get a song played more often (I'm certain they paid out less than they received)...

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 10:21am

        Re: Re:

        Radio stations pay the musicians every time they play a song.
        No, they don't. I'm getting pretty sick of "Brad"'s lies and wish he'd go shill elsewhere. It's more likely though that he'll just nym-shift.

         

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          Radio guy, Jul 25th, 2007 @ 8:28am

          Re: Re: Re:

          To create a point of clarification, commercial radio stations do in fact pay to use the music licensed through agencies like BMI and others. It is quite safe to assume that the majority of music heard used on commercial radio has been "paid for". I have worked in radio since the early 80's and can assure that I have seen the licensing checks cut to these agencies and they were in the order of tens of thousands of dollars each and every year.

          The real clarification needed is to understand who gets that money from the stations. In this case, it is the writers / composers. This could in fact be the artists of a given song if they wrote it, so in those cases the artist is "getting paid". However in MANY cases, the artists did not write the music or lyrics, in these cases the artist would not receive part of the licensing money paid by the stations. This approach for paying the writers / composers worked very well back in the earliest days of radio when stations actually had staff musicians to play the music being aired. The tradition continues based on the concept that by playing recorded music on the air results in subsequent sales (records (CDs), concert tickets, other…). You can think of it as an advertising agreement between the labels / artists and the radio industry. Let the stations use the recording of a song for free and we (radio) will plug and promote it on air to listeners who make like the song enough to buy the recording. We (radio) still pay the licensing companies like BMI to make sure that they get something for their work since they may not have appeared on the recording in any fashion AND we may have used their song with our own musicians, although that is somewhat rare these days.

          While I do not agree with the findings of the previously mentioned study, it is merely one researcher/s finding and views on those findings. He / they are absolutely entitled to their views on the relationship between airplay and sales, however that does not guarantee that they are correct or accurate. There was a time when people believed the world was flat because they could not perceive the curvature of the earth. To some degree I think this falls under the any press is good press marketing concept. Even bad press can make you famous. I can think of no logical reason that Paris Hilton should be famous, yet she is. Press, marketing and exposure are arguably powerful resources. If the RIAA truly buys into the concept that airplay is counterproductive to sales, then make the stations pay for the music, but I think you will then drive the stations to be much more picky and seek out real talent which in many cases does not fall within the RIAA stables.

          That is just my opinion though 

           

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    Anonymous Poster, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 7:13am

    Yeah, let's get rid of all those pesky radio stations! That'll teach people a lesson!

     

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    Shohat, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 7:22am

    This is actually normal.

    In most countries, radio stations do pay. It's normal, and makes a lot of sense.
    I don't like RIAA and their policies (even though artists are richer than ever nowadays), but this is normal practice all around the world.

     

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    Tom, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 7:22am

    But what are radio stations without the music

    I can see where originally the record labels needed the radio stations, so they paid. Now, they're thinking "where would the radio stations be without our music?" So, let's charge them. If the radio stations cave in, then the record labels will rake in more money. If the radio stations can afford to just stop playing the music until the labels cave then they (and the listeners) would probably make out. If the radio stations cave in (or are forced to pay more to the labels), then there will be a major shift in the radio industry as the radio stations will need to develop new cash flows to afford the new costs. I'm not so sure that the advertisers will immediately see the need to pay more to cover the extra costs because they will not get any more exposure.

     

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    Nick, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 7:25am

    I'm sure radio could survive without record labels, though I doubt the vice-versa would work. Without the promotion of music to the masses that radio offers, no-one would know of any artists' work.

    Is it me, or is this mental?

     

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      Rajio, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 7:46am

      Re:

      I disagree. I haven't listened to the radio in over a decade now. I still remember the day I threw out my radio - I never looked back. I still listen to quite a lot of music. I get a lot of new music too. I can discover a broader and richer selection of music through word of mouth and recomendations than I can through the narrow scope of radio playlists anyway.

       

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      Brad, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 9:56am

      Re:

      It's you. Do you listen to the radio to hear the D.J. talk? Or do you listen to the music the pay for and broadcast between the commercials they get paid to play...

       

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    CCohen, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 7:27am

    Let them charge for playing music on the radio. It'll result in less stations playing less music of a less diverse nature. My guess at the probable outcome is:

    Great! Then even more people will turn to the internet to find music -- they'll discover new bands and get music for free, whether it's given away by the artists (increasingly becoming the norm) or shared in violation of copyright. That's good for diversity and bad for the horrible pop the big boys of the recording industry promote anyway -- Britney, the latest boy band, and the new gangsta rapper of the week. Ugh!

    The recording industry won't stop until they've gauranteed their own destruction by making themselves not the merely irrelevant middlemen that they are, but by actually being a negative force for music in general. I feel bad for the smaller labels that have been hit so hard by the internet, but not for the RIAA big boys. Not one bit.

     

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      Brad, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 10:01am

      Re:

      "Great! Then even more people will turn to the internet to find music -- they'll discover new bands and get music for free, whether it's given away by the artists (increasingly becoming the norm) or shared in violation of copyright. "

      "Get music for free" -- that'll result in even less music as there will be no incentive to make music...

       

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        Anonymous Poster, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 3:08pm

        Re: Re:

        Except for, you know, the sake of making music for fun and/or enjoyment. People WILL support the artists they like even if they give away their music.

        God, man, try to sound less like a RIAA shill.

         

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        Mike (profile), Jul 24th, 2007 @ 7:20pm

        Re: Re:

        "Get music for free" -- that'll result in even less music as there will be no incentive to make music...

        This is empirically, logically and historically false. Why? Simple, because even if there's no copyright on the music, the musician is still very much in demand and can make a lot of money if their music is popular.

        Verdi wrote much MORE music before copyright was put in place. Why? Because he made more money each time he created something new. Once he had copyright he could rest of his laurels and slow down on creating new music.

        In China, where copyright isn't nearly as well respected, there's a tremendous growth in the music industry. They may not be selling *records* any more, but the popularity driven by free online downloads has resulted in musicians being able to make more money than ever before thanks to things like sponsorships and concerts.

        So, please, don't say that the incentive goes away. It doesn't. It just changes where the money is made, but actually increases the pie. This was true in the past and it's true now. There's plenty of research on this.

         

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    Haywood, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 7:36am

    They won't be satisfied till it is graveyard dead

    I can't think of a single music purchase I've made that wasn't a result of first hearing it on the radio. Maybe what they have in mind is reverse payola; where they don't charge the fee on a song they want to promote, insuring it free air time. Between the new music sucking (pretty much everything since 1990) and their general attitude, I won't be buying any new music.

     

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    RIAA SUCKS, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 7:39am

    Unbelievable

    The RIAA is in it's death throws. This is stupid. Every radio station should say, "Ok, we won't play anymore music that has to do with the RIAA." and go all indy. There's so much good music out there (As opposed to the worthless overproduced Brittney Spears clones the RIAA keeps pumping out.) that would do well if anyone knew about it. Hit them where it hurts, in their wallets.

    I haven't bought a CD since the whole Napster incident. I used to average about 10 CDs a week. I used to figure out which ones to buy by listening to the radio for the singles, and then downloading one or two of the ones that weren't played to see if they were good enough to buy the CD. Apparently listening to the radio and downloading are illegal now, so I buy only indy music. RIAA, you'll never see a dime of my money, you greedy losers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 7:42am

    You talk about this study like the RIAA twisted the guy's arm to publish this study. All they did was just make it very public.

    He just analyzed the data he collected and proposed a theory to explain the data. And, it makes sense. If there was no radio, people would certainly buy more music (or download, whatever). The point is that it does essentially offer free music to people that would be forced to get elsewhere. All radio does is promote very few popular albums and songs, which does not off-set the lost sales. Want to refute his study? Do your own (with real data) or go find someone who can.

    Now, that said, radio station are currently exempt from paying anyone but the artists. The RIAA is trying to change this. While I am usually fed up with Techdirt's constant banter on how anything and everything the RIAA does is immoral and wrong, I do agree that they are directing attention to something that is probably insignificant compared to other issues.

     

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      Haywood, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 7:53am

      Re:

      "You talk about this study like the RIAA twisted the guy's arm to publish this study. All they did was just make it very public."

      Studies are bought and paid for every day. (think big tobacco)

      "The point is that it does essentially offer free music to people that would be forced to get elsewhere."

      Would they now? I often go months without music with no ill effects. Listening is a habit, just like smoking.

      The longer I go without any the less I miss it. I have a stereo in my shop, it hasn't been on a long time, I find I think much better in silence. I have a car in which the radio hasn't worked since 2000, I have no plans to fix it.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 8:00am

        Re: Re:

        So, just because a study happens to be in line with the RIAA's interests, that means that they paid for it to be so?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 10:29am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes, quite likely.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 10:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So, just because a study happens to be in line with the RIAA's interests, that means that they paid for it to be so?
          Let's call it "circumstantial" evidence against an industry already well known for its illegal payola behavior. Kind of like seeing a well known arsonist fleeing the scene of a suspicious fire with an empty gasoline can in hand.

           

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      Jim, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 8:37am

      Re:

      If radio didn't play the songs how would people know they existed in order to buy or download them? Radio is still where most people hear new, mainstream music first.

      Take radio out of the equation and watch sale plummet.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 7:48am

    I'm wondering...

    The RIAA is going after internet radio and old terrestrial radio now. When will they take their heroic figh against the terrors of piracy to television?

    And frankly speaking without radio and tv stations how will people know about the music they are trying to get to sell?

    So in review the RIAA thinks radio stations should pay them in order to play music. Funny how in all these talks about increased royalties not much has been said about giving more money to musicians. I think there is only one way to really hurt the RIAA, drain their money supply. Anytime anything that may threaten them comes along they just pay someone to get rid of it. Take away that bribe money and they'd be powerless. Of course that is easier said than done since they have ammassed so much money that they can pay almost any price for whatever laws, mandates, and judgements they need to keep their ragged business model alive.

     

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    idiots guide, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 7:48am

    I don't buy anything I can't try so guess i won't be buying music i can't hear. Now there is a study for you.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 7:56am

      Re: #13 & #11

      This is exactly what I was talking about.

      Show me some data instead of stuff like:

      "I listen to radio to hear about bands and I bought a cd once because of that so this study is wrong!!"

      "This study doesn't follow my or my friend's behavioral patterns, therefore radio does help the industry!"

       

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    Randall Lind, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 7:49am

    RIAA hates everyone!!!

    They don't care if you buy music or not they hate everyone. Their main goal is to sue the world.

    They even lie to sue people.

     

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    bshock, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 8:10am

    Okay, fine

    Stipulate that putting the RIAA's music on the radio hurts them. Great -- take their music off the radio. Do it now. Do it comprehensively. No more RIAA-associated music of any kind on the radio, anywhere, at any time.

    Dear RIAA: I'd ask you to commit honorable suicide, but you already seem bent on doing this, and so please hurry it up. Thanks.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 10:35am

      Re: Okay, fine

      Stipulate that putting the RIAA's music on the radio hurts them. Great -- take their music off the radio. Do it now. Do it comprehensively. No more RIAA-associated music of any kind on the radio, anywhere, at any time.

      Dear RIAA: I'd ask you to commit honorable suicide, but you already seem bent on doing this, and so please hurry it up. Thanks.
      Agreed. Please hurry up.

       

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    W.B. McNamara, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 8:32am

    Correlation and Causality

    Unfortunately the paper doesn't appear to be available anywhere online, as I'm a tad curious about the data and methodology.

    It's interesting that the study covers a five year period (1998-2003) following the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which eliminated the national cap on radio station ownership, and dramatically increased the number of radio stations that a single company could own in a single market.

    The Future of Music Coalition has put out a number of papers that look at radio station ownership and programming trends during this same period, and (among other things) found that the consolidation of radio station ownership has led to increased homogenization in programming.

    While increased radio listening may correlate to decreased album purchasing, causality seems like its an open question. Does this correlation hold true if you segment out local/freeform radio stations from Clear Channel and friends? After all, it seems like it's a little unreasonable to expect broadcast radio to increase sales of music that isn't broadcast on radio, right?

     

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    Vincent Clement, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 8:40am

    The author of the report states "the true value of the various rights could be determined where they are best determined - by direct observation in the market".

    Somehow the RIAA forgot to mention that in their press release.

     

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    Blackbeard, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 8:42am

    This is America, Shohat

    Shohat, you say "In most countries, radio stations do pay..."

    Well I've got news for you...there are a lot of lame things that happen in "most countries" but this is America.

    We also don't have people driving around in vans with radio receivers trying to make sure we pay our television tax, do we?

    Once again, the RIAA is proving that they are sorely out of touch with the state of music distribution and what is truly best for artists as well as fans of music.

    Shohat, perhaps you can go to one of those other "normal" countries, if you're not already there.

     

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    Linux, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 8:52am

    Damn what are they going to target next the clubs or your next cookout?

     

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    bobdog, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 8:53am

    The RIAA should simply recognize that music is much too valuable a commodity to exist in a free market economy. It should be completely pulled off the market and stored safely in vaults in Los Angeles forever and never see the light of day again.

    It's the only logical thing to do.

     

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    dirtsnake, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 9:04am

    YES!!!!

    I believe I can quote a whole NOFX song that describes this:

    kick back watch it crumble, see the drowning watch the fall
    i feel just terrible about it, that s sarcasm, let it burn
    i m gonna make at toast when it falls apart
    i m gonna raise my glass abuv my heart
    then someone shouts that s what they get!
    for all the years of hit and run for all the piss broke bands on vh one
    where did all their money go don t we all know
    parasitic music industry as it destroys itself
    we ll show them how it s supposed to be

    music written from devotion not ambition, not for fame
    zero people are exploited there are no tricks up or sleeve
    were gonna fight against the mass appeal
    were gonna kill the seven record deal
    make records that have more then one good song
    the dinosaurs will slowly die and i do believe no one will cry
    i m just fucking glad i m gonna be there to watch the fall
    prehistoric music industry three feet in la brea tar
    extinction never felt so good

    if you think anyone will feel badly you are sadly mistaken
    the time has come for evolution fuck collusion kill the five
    what ever happened to the handshake whatever happened to deals no one would break whatever happened to integrity
    it s still there it always was for playing music just because
    a million reasons why all dinosaurs must (will) die

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 9:10am

    "Is Radio Bad For Music?" YES.

    Have you listened to the radio lately? Me neither.

    I can see how listening to Clear Channel-owned stations (which is pretty much all of them now) would lead one to believe that all music SUCKS, and thus lead to decreased purchases. If you like music, and accidentally turn on the radio and hear what they are trying to force on you, YOU MAY NEVER BUY A CD AGAIN!!

     

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    Buzz, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 9:47am

    WTF?

    The RIAA never ceases to amaze me. They can sit anyone down and convince them that they have committed piracy.

    "Mrs. Smith, do you remember that beautiful Friday night when you took a stroll through the park? Well, I am sorry to tell you this, but our cameras noticed that you started dancing just a bit as you overheard the concert in the neighboring stadium. You mean to tell us that you heard our music without authorization but failed to turn yourself in? That is piracy, Mrs. Smith. I am sorry, but nothing can be done for you." *places handcuffs on Mrs. Smith; takes her away*

     

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    Brad, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 9:59am

    Attacking IP again..

    "opens up all kinds of opportunities for the musicians to make money"

    Mike, how about making money of the labor of producing good music? Why should the musicians have to pursue "other opportunities"? Is that your "scarce vs. non-scarce" B.S. argument again? That as soon as music is produced and can be copied digitally that it's worthless.

    This site must be getting it's own payola from somewhere...

     

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      Buzz, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 10:11am

      Re: Attacking IP again..

      Even without cable, many TV shows are 100% free. Many viewers watch those show and never once purchase any of the products advertised. Yet, SOMEHOW those TV studios stay in business. Is it magic?

      Mike never suggested that musicians have to give up their dream of making music full-time. You ask, "Why should musicians have to pursue other opportunities?" Because life is not fair. That is like me asking, "Why can't I get paid to sit at home and play video games?" The market is changing whether musicians like it or not. The business model of selling music directly has its days numbered. If an artist wants to make money that way, he is perfectly free to, but he cannot complain once his sales have stopped due to everyone flocking to artists who give their music away for free. As Mike explained in his earlier articles, no one is "entitled" to make money. There is not a direct correlation between work and pay. I can go pull weeds for 12 hours out in the fields, but I will not receive a single penny because (A) no one asked to have those weeds pulled and (B) no one is willing to "thank" me by paying me.

      Coming back to musicians producing good music, all they need to do is hire a PR team. The PR team builds a web site, spreads the band's name around, secures venue performances, sells band paraphernalia, etc. while the band focuses on making music. Even though the music is not being sold directly, it is most definitely their source of revenue. If they stopped making music, the PR team suddenly has nothing to work with.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 10:41am

      Re: Attacking IP again..

      This site must be getting it's own payola from somewhere...
      Yet another "Brad" lie.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 10:53am

      Re: Attacking IP again..

      Brad said "This site must be getting it's own payola from somewhere..."

      Now that's funny. An RIAA shill tossing out payola accusations! I've noticed in life that thieves, liars, scam artists, etc. usually think that everyone else is "doing it too".

       

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      Mike (profile), Jul 24th, 2007 @ 7:14pm

      Re: Attacking IP again..

      Mike, how about making money of the labor of producing good music? Why should the musicians have to pursue "other opportunities"? Is that your "scarce vs. non-scarce" B.S. argument again? That as soon as music is produced and can be copied digitally that it's worthless.

      So many questions, Brad. First of all, why is the scarce/non-scarce argument BS. So far you've just said it's wrong, but I've backed it up for years with detailed explanations, data and examples. So I'm curious if you can explain why it's wrong.

      Second, asking why should musicians have to pursue other opportunities is like asking why should buggy whip makers have to go out of business as automobiles became popular. It's because the market is changing.

      And, seriously, would you rather be the most successful buggy whipper maker, or a decently successful auto maker. The new market was much bigger. Same with the new market for music.

      This site must be getting it's own payola from somewhere...

      Please. If you're going to make a lame accusation like that, at least have something to back it up. The most amusing thing is that everything we write here is trying to HELP the music industry make more money.

      So, since you have no proof (because it's simply false), please retract your accusation.

       

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    Chris, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 10:55am

    The Answer

    It's blatantly obvious, this study is completely an utterly flawed, the facts may appear to indicate this would be true, but the real reason is simple.

    More people are downloading music an less people are buying it, the reasons may vary. Myself, I do not buy music anymore, and rarely stream anything from the internet, not because I don't enjoy music, but because the RIAA has pissed me off and there is very little music coming out today that I find of any quality to even bother with having.

    Maybe if the Labels would put more focus into the "music" and less into creating a marketable product, things might shape up for everyone.

     

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    SP, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 11:06am

    As much as I despise the RIAA and think that this is yet another STUPID MOVE... i say, go for it... If they want to kill themselves by pissing off not only their customers (treating us like criminals, etc) but now the radio stations as well...let's do it. As others have said, let's just stop playing any band / "artist" that the RIAA "supports" on ALL radio stations. Have them all convert to indie. I'm all for that. A lot of the indie bands out there today are FAR BETTER THAN 99.9% of the CRAP that the RIAA "supports" anyway.

    So, go ahead RIAA. Remove your "music" from the public airwaves, from Internet radio, get rid of any and all ways of promoting your crap... and then all the wannabe Britney Queers and N'SINK losers will fall apart and we'll actually have talented artists/bands (non RIAA) to listen to again. Sounds like a plan to me!!!

     

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    The infamous Joe, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 11:14am

    Sex, Lies and Audio Tape.

    No, the study is dead on. With the radio I don't have to wonder if the latest released song sucks, I *know* it sucks. Much in the same way downloading it before I consider buying it more often than not convinces me to think again.

     

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    Aaron, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 11:17am

    Leibowitz article

    Leibowitz has this article online - http://ssrn.com/abstract=520022 - "The Elusive Symbiosis: The Impact of Radio on the Record Industry." From a pretty cursory look, it seems unconvincing - he admits there's not much data and just speculates. I wonder if this is the paper the RIAA's talking about or whether it's something newer ("Elusive" is from 2004)?

     

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    A Concerned Citizen, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 11:36am

    weak sauce

    Two things:

    First, here's the whole study that you were referring to. It's pretty thin!!! So he changed it and re-released it about 6 months ago. I don't have that revision yet; but soon.
    http://www.serci.org/docs/liebowitz.pdf


    Second:


    "It is clearly the number one way that we're getting our music exposed. Nothing else affects retail sales the way terrestrial radio does." - Tom Biery, Senior Vice President for Promotion, Warner Bros. Records, 2005.

    ******

    "I have yet to see the big reaction you want to see to a hit until it goes on the radio. I'm a big, big fan of radio." - Richard Palmese, Executive Vice President of Promotion, RCA, 2007.

    ******

    "Radio has proven itself time and time again to be the biggest vehicle to expose new music." - Ken Lane, Senior Vice President for Promotion, Island Def Jam Music Group, 2005.



    That is all...

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2007 @ 1:14am

      Re: weak sauce

      The author looks like a real tool. In that paper he tries to deny that the VCR helped the movie industry as an example. He seems to have a history of writing whatever big-money interests would like to hear. Like his Microsoft love-fest book "Winners, Loosers & Microsoft" where he tries to explain how monopolistic practices are actually good for us. Weak sauce indeed.

       

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    Overcast, Jul 24th, 2007 @ 11:39am

    Try to push your music without Radio RIAA - I dare you...

    Even doubledare you :)

    Actually - the RIAA should be paying the radio stations to air their music.

     

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    No Name, Jul 25th, 2007 @ 1:19am

    Cool.

    Man, I love reading Mike's replies. I wish I could stay that cool and rational under fire.

     

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    Adam O'Donnell, Jul 25th, 2007 @ 2:59am

    Would be awesome if the radio stations did stop

    I would love it if the radio stations in-mass just decided that they would stop playing their music. Then we could all turn and see the RIAA wet themselves, scream with terror, and (more) quickly die out.

    Why not? If even all of the Clear Channel stations decided to just play independent artists, that would cripple the RIAA. And the artists would promptly turn on the RIAA and force them to shut the F up.

    As for the "quality" of music, would most people really notice a difference? It's not like most of what gets played on the radio is very good.

    But hey, what do I know. I haven't consistently listened to the radio since I bought an MP3 player 5 years ago. And all the issues surrounding the purchasing of online music - legal options with DRM vs. illegal options that are easier to use - have slowly moved me to a point where I barely buy any new music at all. I listen almost exclusively to podcasts and old music that I've purchased years ago. I didn't plan for that to happen, but I've found that I don't miss "new music" at all.

     

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    NotMe, Jul 25th, 2007 @ 7:24am

    1 giant radio station

    Gone are the days of each station with a DJ picking what they actually liked to hear. Gone is the diversified mix of music aired.
    This is going to cause all the smaller stations to sell out to clear (hurl chunks) channel. That is the plan really. Consolidate to one monopoly terrestrial broadcaster and then the play list for the whole country is done from one location in LA. Combine that with only one satellite radio also controlled from one place and you have complete control on what the citizens hear. Much easier to keep the sheep in line when they are brain washed with the junk pumped out from such a boring play list.
    Eat your soylent green and do not ask questions. Do as you are told...

     

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    anonymous coward, Jul 25th, 2007 @ 9:46am

    The sky is falling

    I find it hilarious that the RIAA and their lackey (Prof. Liebowitz) contend that radio is going to kill the music industry if we don't put a stop to it. If that's true, then it's certianly not an immediate death, but rather a long, extremely drawn-out illness that may one day lead to a death in the next several hundered years. Which is, of course in itself, a bogus claim. Why? Because we've been commercially broadcasting music for almost 80 years now and it's only had positive effects; (see recording industry exec quotes from above) And if those positive effects are going to kill the industry, it's going to take a very long time to do it.

    Further, I agree that we SHOULD pull all the RIAA backed musicians from all radio stations. Why should we reward mediocrity? Replace them with all indie music; quite a lot of which represents real talent. Those musicians would reap the benefits of airplay and moreover, society would benefit by being exposed to quality music instead of a bunch of Britney Spears clones. It's quite a nice scenario really. All the RIAA fat cats die off and radio is free of the mindless tripe pushed on us today.

     

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    John, Jul 25th, 2007 @ 1:23pm

    I hope they win

    I hope the RIAA does succeed in getting the music taken off radio. Watch how CD sales plummet... and watch how the RIAA blames the Internet (pirating, file sharing, etc) instead.

    Personally, I stopped listening to music radio years ago when it seemed like every "Mix" station played the exact same songs.

    I've often wondered about radio stations that promoted a "no repeat workday". Are they really, seriously, telling us that they can't find enough unique songs to fill one day? I can believe it if they only used songs that were released this year, but some of these radio stations bill themselves as "soft rock" and should have an entire *genre* worth of music to play.
    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but this would show that radio stations really are forced to play the same limited set of songs... probably only by artists or labels that are on the "approved list" (meaning: these people have paid the radio station's parent corporation to get the songs played over and over).

     

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      Radio guy, Jul 26th, 2007 @ 8:19am

      Re: I hope they win

      The concept of "no repeat whatever days" is a marketing response to a common perception and reality problem that has plagued radio for decades, "it seems like I hear the same songs over and over again". The fact is, you very well may, but not because there isn't other music to play but rather that there are a lot of people that want to hear the same music at different times. Commercial radio is a numbers game. You want to keep as many people listening as you can, as often as you can and for as long as you can. If you can succeed at doing that, your ratings will go up and thus advertising rates will follow suit and you will make more money. The catch is, when you are shooting for the masses, you find yourself always aiming at the biggest clumps of people. Those people probably like some of the very same songs as others in the clump, however they can and do listen at different times of the day. So to try to serve all of them you end up replaying a song so that someone listening at a different time hears that same song too. The catch is of course that you risk any one or more given person/s hearing the same song again. So in essence you can choose to never repeat a song and risk one or more in the clump to never hear that song they like OR replay the song and hope that one or more in the clump that heard the song before can tolerate a replay of it. The real danger of the later approach is what if it is a song that one person likes and the other person hates. Now you have one or more persons who have to listen to a repeat of a song they didn't like in the first place. It is for this reason that you tend to see smaller song libraries than you would think in a given format. It is basically the playing it safe theory. I once had one programming guru tell me that it is almost better to concentrate on what you don't play than to concentrate on what you do. That seemed pretty bizarre the first time I heard it, but the more I thought about it the more I understood it when you factor in the replay situation.

      As to the concept of artists paying to be on your playlist, that doesn't happen in the direct sense much anymore. The payola regs. and fines are quite stiff. I am not saying it doesn't ever happen, I am saying it isn't at all like it was back in the 50s. Then it was a common way of getting added to the station playlist. Now artists and labels buy their way onto a play list with promotion and demand. If enough people want to hear it and it is within the general formatic guidelines (a rock station isn't likely to play a country hit…) of a given station, they are gonna play it. They would be foolish not to. Again though you can see the problem with this model, the popular or in demand stuff will be played and the lesser known stuff (all be it equal if not better material) may or may not get played. There are only so many broadcast hours in a day, week or year so eventually you hit the practical wall of how large you playlist / library needs to be. This is not to say that the playlists or libraries are stagnant, because they are not. Things change so the library (with the possible exception of oldies formats) must change too, but it will tend to have a clump of songs that are "core" to the format and will be played more than others because that is what the clump of listeners want to hear most often. The radio stations ultimately do control what they play, not the labels, but it is demand that controls the radio stations and the labels can create that, so they do have some indirect influence on the playlists.

      I hope that clears things up a bit for you on those two very good observations on radio that you pointed out.

       

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    JERRY CHIAPPETTA, JR., Aug 8th, 2007 @ 11:19pm

    Playing Music on the Radio...

    Hey, any radio stations that way to play the hell out of my ORIGINAL MUSIC, you go for it dude & dudettes!!! Just be sure to tell them to order it at iTunes or at my web site. No problem there...I'll be the guy hanging out the all the chicks on my 100' HATTERAS Motor Yacht. See ya out on the water!
    Sincerely, Jerry Chiappetta, Jr., Performing Artist / Songwriter/Composer. PS: I accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, Pay Pal....everything but your Exxon card.

     

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    Ray, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 11:04am

    All music should be free.John Lennon,Bob Dylan,Bob Marley etc would have still been genius's and stars even if they never ever made a single penny from their music

     

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