It is hard to ignore the fact that 2017 will soon transition into 2018. That’s not profound, just scary!
What is profound is that in the 30+ years of NRBMLC’s existence, the challenges have not simplified.
Digital Reigns! We hear this often, and digital has lots to do with music licensing’s complexity. Fifteen years ago, radio had its first court case to establish digital streaming rates. Some stations streamed early on, but many fled after a new collective, SoundExchange, was created. SoundExchange rates have risen steadily ever since.
We don’t know if or when digital radio will replace terrestrial as the medium of choice for our listeners. But if it does, we all want to be there.
Web IV: This proceeding under the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), occurred in 2014-15. Its result was punishing for noncommercial religious radio. The court nearly doubled SoundExchange rates for NRBNMLC stations with large streaming audiences. Looking ahead, if a there is a similar outcome in Web V (which begins in 2019), stations could literally be priced off the web!
In light of the brief period to prepare for this next streaming/webcasting proceeding, NRBNMLC members should step up to help fund a Web V war-chest. Some already have, but many more need to follow their example!
ASCAP Announces Audits: NRBMLC commercial stations should be prepared to open their books to ASCAP. After a multi-year silence, ASCAP auditors are returning to radio. If you are commercially licensed under the ASCAP 2008 NRBMLC Radio Station License, you may be contacted by an ASCAP auditor. If that happens, don’t panic! Be gracious, cooperative – and give us a call.
Without member generosity, NRBMLC and NRBNMLC could not continue to lead in these complex times. Thank you!
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