MusicFIRST Coalition Decries iHeartMedia’s Earnings Hypocrisy As Recording Artists Remain Unpaid on Broadcast Radio

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musicFIRST coalition comments on iHeartMedia earnings as recording artists go unpaid on broadcast radio

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Photo Credit: Abe B. Ryokan

After iHeartMedia posted total revenue of $920M for Q2 2023, the musicFIRST Coalition put the broadcast company on blast for refusing to pay artists.

iHeartMedia’s total revenue for Q2 2023 dropped 3.6% from a year ago. Multiplatform revenue for the radio giant was down 5.9%, which it attributes due to decreases in broadcast advertising “due to a challenging macroeconomic environment” and the overall decline in political advertising. Total revenue for its digital audio group was bolstered by podcasting and is up 8% year-over-year, thanks to demand for podcast advertising. But following that earnings report, former Senator Mark Pryor, Chairman of the musicFIRST Coalition, shared a statement.

“iHeart’s hypocrisy and disregard for the music artists that make their entire business model possible was once again on full display during today’s earnings call,” Pryor shares. “As the broadcasting giant celebrated its quarterly financial performance with investors on Wall Street, their efforts to convince lawmakers that they can’t afford to pay artists a single cent when their music is played on AM/FM radio continue.”

“The idea that artists should be paid for the use of their work is not a novel concept. In fact, it’s been accepted as a basic standard in every other democratic nation, and on every other music platform. But with the help of their lobbying machine at the National Association of Broadcasters, greedy broadcasting behemoths like iHeart are fighting tooth and nail to prevent artists from making a living.”

“iHeart’s latest earnings report is yet another reminder that big broadcasters like iHeart can afford to pay artists, despite their claims to the contrary. The bipartisan American Music Fairness Act (AMFA) would address this outstanding issue by ensuring music artists receive the basic compensation they deserve for AM/FM radio plays, while also helping to protect small broadcasters. It’s time we hold Big Radio accountable by passing this long overdue, common sense piece of legislation.”