Clear Channel – who now goes by the name of iHeartRadio – has positioned themselves as crusaders for artists’ rights.
Their CEO, Bob Pittman, made the laudable statement that, when it comes to a performance right on FM Radio:
"There are plenty of people in radio who think [promotion] ought to be enough," he said. "But clearly that is not enough, or there wouldn't be a decades-long battle over it."
But what do they really believe? Do they put their money where Bob Pittman’s mouth is?
Turns out, not so much. Over one million dollars was spent in one quarter of last year for lobbying Congress on – among other things – the so-called “Local Radio Freedom Act,” the resolution that seeks to deny music creators a FM performance right.
Let’s get beyond the obvious laugher that Clear Channel has anything to do with “local radio” when they are the industry leader in voice tracking and consolidation.
The fact of the matter is this: Clear Channel is lobbying against artists’ rights while claiming to support them. That shows who they really are. They heart radio. They heart money. Artists, not so much.