Performance Tax: Pay to Play

I was listening to my “Reality” radio one morning on the way to work and there was a discussion about the Performance Tax that is being proposed in Congress.  Now the way this works is that a fee would be charged to radio stations any and every time that an artist’s song is played, being recouped by the record company.  So I started thinking, “how much money does a record company want to make off an artist?  Seriously, I know that pimpin’ ain’t easy, but when did it become legal?”  With record sales being lower than normally expected, the labels have to find constructive and often unscrupulous ways to make that money back, but damn, with 360 deals I thought that was the end all, but it is obvious that they are highly skilled at coming up with new ways to get over.  But on the flip side, the radio stations have a moot argument.  Their theory is that if a fee is levied on a radio station, that could effect the way music is played by that only established artists’ songs will be played since it is proven that it has a following of sorts as opposed to running the risk of trying to break a new artist.  For real, tough titty!  When was the last time YOU heard a new artist being broken in by a radio station without hearing them on the net or some other source?  Every time I listen to the radio I hear the same song, every day, all day, on every station that I usually listen to, not hearing anything new.

So to make a long story short, if record and radio companies have been better prepared for this new age, they might not be in this mess.  Now I can definitely see why the radio stations are mad, if I was used to receiving benefits from record labels via independent promoters offering “payola” type gifts, it would seem rather off to turn around and start paying.  But the record labels putting their artists out on “the track” doesn’t fair any better.  But the positive aspect is that it doesn’t bare any effect on the consumer by that we still are going to find ways of being exposed to new music and the music that we like, and aside from the regular “reach around” that the artist is accustomed to receiving, this has no barring.  So this is not a monumental catastrophe that is going to change the very way that you listen to music, this is synonymous to two people arguing in a phone booth discussing methods as outdated as the structure that they are in.

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