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Ahead of iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour Stop in New York City, Congressman Joe Crowley Pushes for American Music Fairness Act

10 December 2021

Washington, DC, December 10, 2021 – Ahead of the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour stop in New York City, Congressman Joe Crowley, Chairman of the musicFIRST coalition, released the following statement calling on the New York-based broadcaster to pay artists when their music is played on AM/FM radio:

“iHeartRadio clearly loves Christmas. Tickets for its annual Jingle Ball in New York City are selling for thousands and its radio stations make tens of millions in advertising dollars by playing Christmas music across the country.

“But what do they offer to the artists who create the music that make iHeartRadio a wealthy company? When their songs are played on the radio: nothing. The broadcasting giant refuses to offer working-class Americans the simple respect of paying them when their work is played on AM/FM radio. These are our friends, family, and neighbors working hard to make a living.

“Like Scrooge, iHeart hoards its profits while middle-class music creators cannot pay their bills. Wealthy broadcasters such as iHeartRadio make no secret of their financial dominance. They crow on earnings calls about soaring advertising revenue and stock buybacks. Yet, they offer nothing to our music creators.

“There is a simple and just solution: Congress can pass the American Music Fairness Act so that music creators are treated with dignity and paid when their songs are played on the radio. It’s time to give music creators and artists the respect they deserve. This is simply the right thing to do.”

Background

By a 2-1 margin, Americans believe it’s unfair that artists are not paid when their music is played on traditional radio, according to a recent national survey. However, the plight of music creators has been largely invisible — a full 60% of Americans report they were not aware that music creators were not paid when their music is played on AM/FM stations — making it easier for the corporations that control radio stations to get away with this injustice.

Congress has a chance to fix this by passing the American Music Fairness Act, which would require radio stations to compensate artists when their songs are broadcast.

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About musicFIRST
musicFIRST works to ensure music creators get fair pay for their work on all platforms and wherever and however it is played. We rally the people and organizations who make and love music to end the broken status quo that allows AM/FM to use any song ever recorded without paying its performers a dime. And to stand up for fair pay on digital radio — and whatever comes next.

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