The Future of Music Coalition and musicFIRST have filed joint comments with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Monday, September 24th on the state of market competition for the delivery of audio programming. The comments come as broadcasters are steadfastly lobbying the FCC to loosen Local Radio Station Ownership Caps in its forthcoming Quadrennial Review.
The coalitions' filing acknowledges the increased competition for traditional radio from new sources, but proclaim its continued health:
“AM/FM radio is still healthy notwithstanding the fact that they have more competition from newer and more innovative audio platforms. Any demands to drop local ownership caps in order to improve AM/FM radio’s competitive position in the music delivery marketplace based on the relative strength of its more innovative competitors is entirely misplaced.”
The coalitions call the potential loosening of caps ‘disastrous'.
“AM/FM radio already enjoys a competitive advantage over their audio competitors—they don’t pay music creators while every other platform playing sound recordings does,” said Chris Israel, musicFIRST’s Executive Director.
In the filing, the coalitions “respectfully request that when the Commission makes its report to Congress, and also when it analyzes the Local Radio Station Ownership Caps in its upcoming Quadrennial Review, that it understands that AM/FM already has a substantial advantage over its competitors insofar as it does not yet have to pay to use sound recordings.”