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NAB's Dennis Wharton Hits Back Hard

6-10-14

After hearing about the Huppe keynote, NAB Executive VP of Communications Dennis Wharton said the NAB was not surprised by his anti-radio comments. "Keep in mind that this rant comes from the head of an organization – SoundExchange – that for years could not find the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to pay royalties the group was owed. So the fact that Mr. Huppe remains confused about the value of local radio airplay should not come as a surprise. Mr. Huppe can make ridiculous speeches every day of the week. But we challenge him to ask any aspiring recording artist if she wants her music played on a local radio station. The answer will be a resounding 'Yes!'" Wharton also included a long list of facts and quotes from artists thanking radio for playing their music.

Here are the facts about radio's value to performers and record labels:
- The promotional value of free and local radio airplay to artists and record labels is between $1.5 billion and $2.4 billion annually, according to James Dertouzos, a former PhD Stanford economist.
- Free and local radio remains by far the #1 promotional platform for exposing new music, according to Nielsen.
- Local radio pays more than $330 million annually to songwriters, and millions more in digital fees to labels and artists.
- In nearly every awards show, artists thank local radio for jump-starting their careers (see the quotes below):

"I want to say thank you, thank you to radio that believed in us, that played our tracks when no one knew who we were."
-- Imagine Dragons lead singer Dan Reynolds accepting "Top Rock Album" at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, May 18, 2014

"Country radio, thank you for letting us be a part of this. You guys rock." "Pop radio, thank you."
-- Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard accepting "Top Country Song" at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, May 18, 2014

"I love you, Country radio. Thank you so much, guys."
-- Luke Bryan accepting Top Country Artist at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, May 18, 2014

"I heard the first few licks of the song and I didn't know how it would affect me. I'm not always super emotional. When I heard the first part of the song, I just started bawling my eyes out. It was a very crazy, surreal, rewarding and full-circle moment. It was cool that my little sister was there. She had her camera so she captured the moment on film. I was just freaking out and cussing and trying not to wreck my car."
-- Country artist Kacey Musgraves on hearing her debut single "Merry Go Round" on radio for the first time, Radio.com, February 3, 2014

"There's nothing else that can bring you new listeners like radio."
-- Rapper Big Sean, NAB Radio Show, September 18, 2013

"I'm on the radio; I can't believe it! It feels like the first time!"
-- Tweet from Lady Gaga on release of single "Applause," August 12, 2013



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