Monday, August 30, 2010

Why am I talking about cell phones in my music blog? Ask the NAB.

I think that Alan Reiter is angry. The use of phrases such as "amazing demonstration of arrogance" clued me in to Reiter's feelings.

You see, there's been a longstanding fight between the National Association of Broadcasters and the music industry. Normally people don't want to cheer for either of these entities, but the NAB is actually making the music industry look good.

You see, Reiter notes that there has been pending "legislation requiring radio stations to pay record labels and performers for playing songs over the air" - legislation that has been opposed by the NAB and others.

But the NAB is suddenly willing to allow these payments - as long as one teeny weeny little amendment is made to the legislation.

[T]he broadcasting industry wants Congress to mandate FM radios in all cellphones.

Reiter notes that the electronics industry opposes a mandate requiring them to put radios in their phones. (FCC DISCLOSURE: I was previously employed by Motorola.)

Reiter doesn't indicate how the cellular service providers feel about the whole thing, but I'm certain that it depends upon whether the service can be monetized. If Verizon, AT&T, et al can figure out a way to charge you to use an FM radio on a cellphone, you can bet that they'd be in favor of the deal.

But then the NAB would oppose the deal, because monetary limitations on access to the radio would adversely impact radio advertising revenues.

THEN who would we root for?
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