Performance Royalty Wrangling Spurs FM Research

The new Apple iPod nano music player has a built-in FM tuner.

As part of the debate framing the discussion of a performance royalty for terrestrial radio, airwaves advocate NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) has asked for a government mandate that all cell phones be equipped with an FM radio.

The CEA (consumer electronics association) has recently released a study showing that 70% of cell phone and smart phone owners were not interested in having FM built into their device. The study also showed that 80% opposed a government mandate to require them.

On the other side of the aisle, the NAB’s research shows that 73% of cell owners considered “having a radio in their cell phone for local weather and emergency alerts would be very or somewhat important.” NAB also reports that more than 50% of those surveyed didn’t realize that FM was an option in cell phones.

CEA President Gary Shapiro said, “We understand that radio broadcasters are facing competition from new services and technologies, but rather than rely on government mandates, we encourage broadcasters to provide innovative services that Americans actually want to use.”

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David M. Ross has been covering Nashville's music industry for over 25 years. [email protected]

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