Since the 1890’s the music industry was either through monetizing live performance or through. selling phonographs.

Record sales triggered mechanical royalties to composers and publishers and recording royalties to artists and producers on every record sold.

That all changed with radio broadcasts.

Radio stations broadcast music for free supporting themselves through advertising (ad revenue was not shared with the composers, publishers, producers and artists despite their works generating the ad dollars).

Artists and producers received nothing when their works were played on the radio And composers and publishers made no mechanical royalties either.

However, composers and publishers now had a new revenue stream, royalties for public performance via broadcast on radio. This favored the most played music and categories of music with the highest rates at the PRO’s.

Significantly, exposure of songs played for free on the radio generated interest in record sales and live performances by popular broadcast artists helping to promote their overall careers and income from non-radio sources.

Once the phonograph was king and then along came radio and there was an explosion of new opportunities for composers to prosper.

THREE QUESTIONS TO PONDER:

1. HOW DID SOME COMPOSERS SUFFER WITH THE DISRUPTION CAUSED BY THE RADIO?

2. HOW DID OTHER COMPOSERS PROSPER VIA THIS DISRUPTION?

3. WHAT CHANGES, ADAPTATIONS, VISIONS, AND RISKS DID THOSE WHO PROSPER NEED TO MAKE?

I am so interested in your thoughts and prospectives on these three questions.