Radio Broadcasters Close to Shutting Down Performance Tax

Radio broadcasters may be close to once again stopping the movement to impose performance fees on music airplay. As of Wednesday (June 3), a majority of the House (220 members) and 12 Senators have signed The Local Radio Freedom Act, a resolution that denounces any new performance fee, tax, royalty or other charge on music airplay.  

Last month, the House Judiciary Committee voted 21-9 to send the Performance Rights Act to the House for a full vote. But with the majority of the House signing a resolution that opposes the Act, the prospects for passage of the Performance Rights Act don’t look good.

At least that’s the hope of broadcasters, which have been fighting hard to kill legislation that could cripple their business at a time when revenue is already at historic lows.

Even with the numbers in the House, broadcasters vowed not to let up. Anything can happen on the Hill, and the music industry backing the Performance Rights Act has been relentless.

“This fight on behalf of 235 million weekly listeners is far from over. Our continued success is dependent on radio broadcasters remaining engaged in building additional support in Congress, and in reminding lawmakers of radio’s unparalleled promotional value for both record labels and artists,” said Steve Newberry, president and CEO of Kentucky-based Commonwealth Broadcasting and National Association of Broadcasters radio board chair.