SoundExchange today called on the Congress to approve the American Music Fairness Act, so creators can finally get paid for songs played on AM/FM radio.
“Congressional action on the American Music Fairness Act demonstrates that while justice can be delayed, it ultimately cannot be denied,” said Michael Huppe, President and CEO of SoundExchange. “For decades, broadcast corporations have made hundreds of billions of dollars while denying creators royalties for music played on AM/FM radio stations. That’s fundamentally wrong. Everyone knows that, including the broadcasters.”
The American Music Fairness Act represents a common-sense approach to rectifying a decades-long injustice. It ensures that creators are finally respected for their work and requires billion-dollar corporations such as iHeartMedia, Audacy, Cumulus Media, and others to pay their fair share for music. It also protects small and college radio stations by capping what they would have to pay to as little as $10 to $500 a year. The legislation also levels the music playing field across terrestrial and digital platforms – creators are currently paid when their music is played on streaming services such as SiriusXM but not for AM/FM play.
Despite multi-million dollar lobbying and advertising campaigns to thwart it, the American Music Fairness Act is finally moving through Congress. SoundExchange appreciates the leadership of House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, Rep. Darrell Issa, and other leaders in the House for recognizing its importance to their constituents. The legislation has also been introduced by Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Alex Padilla (D-CA) in the Senate, putting it in position for final consideration before Congress wraps up its work for the year.
Americans overwhelmingly back the effort: By a 4-to-1 margin, they support Congress passing a new law to require broadcasters to pay artists when their music is played on AM/FM radio, according to a musicFIRST coalition survey of 1,087 Americans conducted in November.
“House Judiciary Committee approval of the American Music Fairness Act may not be the last step in this fight, but it’s an important one,” added Michael Huppe. “Tens of thousands of music creators – our family, friends, and neighbors – are counting on Congress to do the right them and help them get paid for their work. We cannot let them down.”
SoundExchange and its more than 600,000 creator community of creators are leaders in musicFIRST, a coalition working to ensure music creators get fair pay for their work on all platforms and wherever and however it is played. To learn more about the movement for music fairness, visit https://musicfirstcoalition.org.