Non è un bel momento per affrontare con la dovuta serenità l'iter parlamentare - iniziato questo lunedì con la presentazione in Senato - della proposta di legge (il Performance Right Act) che potrebbe obbligare le stazioni radio americane a versare le royalties agli esecutori di brani musicali (e non semplicemente agli autori delle canzoni), cosa che del resto stanno già facendo le stazioni via Web. Chissà però se questo argomento può servire a lobbysti della National Association of Broadcaster. Forse il Congresso si impietosirà davanti a questa notizia e continuerà a prolungare la franchigia riservata a operatori diventati all'improvviso un po' più poveri. Non sembrano esserci molte chances a dire il vero. Proprio oggi il capo del sottocomitato Telecomunicazioni al Congresso, onorevole Rick Boucher, ha suggerito agli editori radiofonici di sedersi allo stesso tavolo dei titolari dei diritti musicali e negoziare un accordo. Le notizie che seguono vengono dalla testata telematica RadioInk.
Internet Ad Revenue At Record High In '08, Passes Radio
NEW YORK -- March 31, 2009: The Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers report that Internet ad revenues rose by 10.6 percent in 2008, to a record-high $23.4 billion, up from $21.2 billion in 2007. That's compared to $19.5 billion in 2008 revenue for radio as reported by the RAB, down 9 percent from '07.
In the fourth quarter of 2008, Internet revenues came in at $6.1 billion, up 2.6 percent from $5.9 billion in Q4 '07 and also a record high.
"We are seeing an ongoing secular shift from traditional to online media as marketers recognize that ad dollars invested in interactive media are effective at influencing consumers and delivering measurable results," said IAB President/CEO Randall Rothenberg. "In this uncertain economy, where marketers know they need to do more with less, interactive advertising provides the tools for them to build deep, engaging relationships with consumers -- the experience marketers gain from this will deliver dividends, especially after the economy turns around."
Search advertising is the big driver of online ad growth, says the IAB, moving up 19.8 percent in 2008. Digital video is still relatively small, but growing fast -- up 126 percent, to $734 million in 2008 from $324 million a year before. Banner ads and lead generation were up in 2008, while rich media ads, sponsorships, classifieds, and e-mail advertising were all down somewhat on the year.
The leading categories for online ads last year were retail, financial services, computing, and automotive, the same as in 2007. PricewaterhouseCoopers Partner/Assurance David Silverman said, "Though some categories in the fourth quarter slowed or even dipped, reflecting the current economic challenges, the overall performance is up, confirming interactive's ever-growing importance to the successful marketing mix."***
Boucher Suggests Radio Negotiate Royalties; NAB Responds
WASHINGTON -- March 31, 2009: The NAB is holding its annual State Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, and at the event, Rep. Rick Boucher, who chairs the House Telecom Subcommittee, suggested that radio negotiate with record labels to come to terms on a new performance royalty for radio.
NAB EVP Dennis Wharton said in a statement in response, "NAB has great respect for Chairman Boucher, but we would submit that the real negotiation should take place between the record labels and recording artists. After the record labels have renegotiated all the abusive deals they have forced on artists, they should come see us."
Now before Congress are the Performance Right Act, which would for the first time impose performance royalties on broadcast radio. Lobbying on behalf of the PRA is MusicFIRST, an RIAA-backed group formed for that purpose. Countering the PRA is the Local Radio Freedom Act, a non-binding resolution declaring that Congress should not impose such royalties. The resolution has more than 150 co-sponsors in the House and was introduced in the Senate Monday with three initial co-sponsors.