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musicFIRST 2018 Naughty & Nice List

18 December 2018

We’re getting close to Santa’s trip around the world with his eight loyal reindeer, and just like every other year, he’s making a list. A playlist, that is. And checking it twice, to make sure that all of his Holiday favorites are at the ready for his journey on Christmas Eve.

As a dedicated music fan himself, Santa has also been keeping track of who has been naughty and nice to music creators in 2018 – and we’ve gotten special permission from the big man himself to give you a sneak peek.

First, the bad news:


Big Radio – The radio industry uses the music of hard-working performers to attract listeners to their stations, but they don’t pay the musical performers for their work. This system is simply unfair. When someone does work, they should be paid for it, especially when others are making a profit off of it. If you do not give, you should not receive!

National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) – The NAB, a top-5 lobbying powerhouse in Washington, D.C., continues to use their influence to deny fair payment to music creators when their work is aired on terrestrial radio. Meanwhile, the NAB is unashamed at asking Congress for help and then making excuses for not living up to their end of the bargain. A recent example: broadcasters received $1 billion dollars and plenty of time from Congress to assist in therepacking of television stations to new channels, yet the NAB is now blaming the weather for a “serious shortage” of crews as the reason 11 broadcasters missed the recent deadline. You don’t see Santa blaming the weather, do you?

YouTube – YouTube, owned by Google, is the most popular music service in world – far bigger than Spotify, Apple or Pandora. Yet YouTube exploits loopholes and an old law shielding them from fairly compensating music creators.Talk about the Grinch!

iHeartRadio – Eleven top executives at iHeartRadio stuffed their own stockings this year with multi-million-dollar bonuses, while refusing to fairly compensate artists when their recordings on broadcast on terrestrial radio. That makes it easy for Santa – coal it is!

Shame on those that have hearts three sizes too small. Lucky for the naughty list, next year is a great opportunity to make up for their bad deeds in 2018.

On to better news:


Music Fans Everywhere – Thanks to a chorus of voices around the country, the most comprehensive music licensing reform in decades, the Music Modernization Act, is now the law of the land. Forces that fought to maintain the status quo were rebuffed because of a historic coalition of artists, record labels, technology companies, songwriters, performance rights organizations, unions, and YOU.

The U.S. Congress – Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate voted unanimously in support of the Music Modernization Act. The effort was led by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who were both committed to seeing music reform pass before their retirements from Congress. The legislation will make our country’s music licensing system fairer for artists and improve the environment for music makers, music services, and music fans. Well done Congress!

Pre-72 artists – Thanks to the MMA artists who recorded music before 1972 will now be compensated when their work is played on digital radio and satellite radio. That means that the hitmakers of Motown, the legends of Jazz & Blues, and the people who gave birth to Rock n’ Roll will finally get their due and not have to spend years in court trying to recoup lost compensation that they would have received had they recorded their songs after February 15, 1972.

Kendrick Lamar – The Pulitzer Prize winner is one of the year’s biggest success stories, raking in 8 GRAMMY nominations in 2018, the most nominations out of any artist this award season. Lamar makes history as the first artist to earn a Pulitzer in a music category other than classical or jazz.

Bruce Springsteen – To the delight of his fans and after 236 sold-out “Springsteen on Broadway” performances, The Boss released a Netflix special this month compiled from two July shows.


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