Music industry coalition musicFIRST, the trade body that includes the RIAA, the Recording Academy, A2IM, SoundExchange and the American Federation of Musicians among its founding members, launched a national digital ad campaign today that takes aim at radio, streaming and the U.S. Copyright Act with the goal of advancing its fair play, fair pay initiative. The campaign's main targets (along with musicFIRST's tongue-in-cheek code names for them): iHeart ("No Heart Radio"); SiriusXM ("SiriusLY?"); the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 ("That '70s Law"); and YouTube ("YouLose").
For years, music industry trade groups have set their sights on ad-supported digital video platforms like YouTube and digital radio services like SiriusXM over what record labels and songwriters call the "value gap" in how music is monetized and utilized online. In January, musicFIRST penned an open letter to Congress arguing for copyright and radio royalty rate reform ahead of the inauguration of the new administration. Today's campaign echoes similar themes.
"Music has incredible value and music creators should always be fairly compensated for their work," musicFIRST executive director Chris Israel said in a statement announcing the campaign. "The ways that we are listening to music are changing rapidly. Unfortunately, many laws remain outdated and often fail to protect music creators by denying them fair pay for their hard work. Our new campaign is focused on empowering music creators to advocate for the essential and enduring value of their works."