Well, the RIAA is at it again. First, they tried to sue everyone who may have just thought about ‘stealing’ a song, now they and the National Association of Broadcasters want to force all makers of handheld mobile devices-be it a cell phone, iPod, Zune or, presumably, even a Kindle or Nook since they have audio playback-to include an FM tuner. Oh, not any FM tuner, but a hybrid-digital tuner or ‘HD’ tuner. What? Really?
Both associations have come up with this ‘framework’ for Congress to consider at some later date. In the ‘framework’, the broadcasters would pay artists about $100 million. Why? Well, it all boils down to money. Greed, specifically. See, radio stations do not have to pay for broadcasting any of the musical performances but satellite radio and webcasters do. For years, the recording industry has felt that the broadcasters SHOULD, in fact, have to pay. So, in order to avoid the high fees that the industry wants, they have cooked up this plan to force you and I to pay for the terrestrial radio fees by forcing the electronics industry to support FM radio. OK, so the NAB will fork over the $100 million to the recording industry and Congress COULD pass the law requiring FM tuners in all of our hand held devices, which means WE have to eat the cost, however much that is.
I’ve seen the posts the decry the death of radio. Radio is far from dead and is only dead in the minds of those who live in the tech bubble. These are the same who say that television, books and magazines are dead.
The whole notion that the recording industry is losing money because of radio play is just ridiculous anyway. Radio play is a promotional tool that the recording industry used to-and still does-take advantage of and even promoted. How many times have you heard a song on the radio only to turn around and buy the CD, record, MP3, whatever?
I’m not on radio’s side either. For this industry to even consider forcing another industry to support it is absurd. I have an HD FM tuner in my Zune HD and I RARELY use it. If one has a smartphone or a dedicated MP3 player like a Zune or an iPod, the chances of one actually listening to the radio are greatly diminished. I use my Zune primarily to listen to podcasts. I do listen to music on the device as I have a Zune Pass. For me, the Zune Pass is my radio but, then again, I live in the tech bubble.
It is time for the recording industry, the television industry and the motion picture industry to forget about the old way of doing business. Times have changed and they need to change along as well. Hobbling our devices so they can squeeze another penny out of us absurd and only encourages those who will steal to continue to do so. And if the broadcasters want us to continue to listen to them, give us something compelling, don’t force us to support them. We won’t like that.