HD Bragging Causes ASCAP Royalty Push

Those HD advocates have gone and done it.

As Kurt Hanson reported in RAIN recently:

The ASCAP has proposed to the Radio Music License Committee that HD2 radio pay a music license royalty. Broadcasters maintain that since they're generating no revenue from their HD2 channels, a royalty isn't justified. In making their case, the ASCAP cited research, long ago debunked, that predicted 30 million HD receivers in the market by 2012.

It looks like the record industry is going to stuff the braggadocio that the HD Alliance calls promotion down their throats.

Hell, if I saw the radio industry bragging about HD's 30 million receivers by 2012, I'd go after them, too.

Of course, anyone who actually believes HD has any kind of future in radio is smoking something very powerful.

HD is a failure by every measure.

Virtually no one owns HD radio. And there is no demand.

If they do, they can't hear many stations because...

There aren't many stations -- and why?

Because the radio groups think so little of it that they have budgeted virtually nothing to develop these HD subchannels.

Just what America wants -- more radio stations.

Actually, the industry should be very careful in wishing for the proliferation of HD channels. It is a good way to drive down the price of radio advertising once HD channels can run commercials.

What kind of industry launches HD sub-channels without a way for owners to make money from the get-go. It doesn't matter now, the point is moot.

Don't get me wrong. ASCAP doesn't deserve another penny in my view, but you have to chuckle at a radio industry that is so able to pretend that HD is working that they've now convinced a music licensing group to go after them.

Hello. Is anyone home?

The record industry has more problems than ASCAP's royalty crusade over a nonexistent HD audience will solve.

And radio as an industry is losing revenue and audience share every quarter.

So let's convene a meeting of radio's chapter of The Hemlock Society:

• HD is dead -- it was never born. We can debate whether it was ever an embryo and therefore an actual real, live radio signal.

• Pull the plug and never say HD again. It can only be trouble. If you need short monikers -- practice saying WiFi because it is going be something meaningful and radio is letting it get away.

Use HD technology to read -- electric meters and the like -- which I am told it can do.

Now that's a growth business for radio.

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