Why not lobby for subsidies for independent record labels? If you look at the machinations of the music industry, what makes independent record labels any less deserving of government support than our farmers?


Indie Label Kingpin Takes on Org Over Letter to FCC on Play-for-Pay
Message to A2IM: You are wasting your time.

A more successful campaign would be one that has a theme of “Programming that is reflective of what is happening in the marketplace.”

For example: If 22% of the U.S. music business is Independent, than the stations should have to program 22% Independent content. That would make a difference as far as your airplay goal is concerned. Focusing on the practices and guidelines is like starting your bin Laden search at the Fort Bragg mess hall after three days of fasting and Islamic poetry readings. The guidelines have already been addressed. The programming has not changed post-Spitzer’s investigation. Why is the AG’s office or the FCC not looking at that very simple reality?

I'm owner of the #1 Independent Rock Label in the US. You would never know that by looking at radio and the major video network’s charts, though. It took a lot of sacrifice to get where we are. Guess what? It does not matter. I was naïve enough to think it would, but I know better. So, we do other things to get our artists’ music sold and exposed.

Any outside mediator with half a brain would say, “Well, show me what is being programmed?” A simple analysis of the playlists and charts would show the misrepresentation that is taking place. Nothing will change because radio will not be forced to play what it chooses not to. The more you “force” them to do something, the less they will. The programmers and more importantly, their owners, do not care about independent record companies. That is the simple fact and truth. Why does an artist who had major sales success on an independent record label get no mainstream programming support until they are on a major record company? Is going to a major some sort of programming validation? The artist is now “safe” to support? “Hey, look at me! I am going to a company that is about to merge with another company (Warner-EMI) or possibly leave this industry altogether (Sony-BMG)! I am important, now you can play me!” Bring that up to the FCC. Go after the real issues of hypocrisy and inequality.

If the content produced by Independent record labels is so undesirable, why is every major record label group in such an Independent feeding frenzy? They all have independent distribution vehicles, they finance many independent labels, enter “up streaming” deals, roll out “incubators”… Why would the companies that get 99.9% of the programming want to invest and align themselves with the segment of the industry that gets less than 0.01% of the programming? The content is not programmable... right?

Why not lobby for subsidies for independent record labels? If you look at the machinations of the music industry, what makes independent record labels any less deserving of government support than our farmers?

Independents support the arts at a very grassroots level, which in turn, helps foster culture. More importantly, future musical trends almost always start at our level. Without the Independents being in a position to take chances and nurture new artists (no quarterly financial reporting constraints, etc.), much of the future’s programming would not exist. If one of the major radio groups was booking the “2006 Psychic Convention,” why would they turn away Nostradamus? You would think that they would embrace him, roll out a velvet carpet and have him anoint and bless their crystal balls. We are the only segment of the music industry that is growing. We are adding jobs and money to the economy. We are privately held and thus pay higher taxes. We are not hiding behind the charades of the public markets or a corporate parent. This subsidy idea might be a more productive endeavor with better takeaway for your members. You are not going to change or impact what is being programmed.

A2IM, to make a difference, I am starting a group called A2DM- “The American Association for Dependent Music." I am DEPENDENT on passionate music fans to support my Artists and Company. They can help me more than the FCC. Plus, I won’t have to sit in any drawn-out meetings or read guidelines that no one cares about!