The Radio Music License Committee (“RMLC”) represents the interests of the commercial radio industry (some 10,000 commercial radio stations) on music licensing matters. It is structured as a 501(c)(6) non-profit Tennessee corporation based in Nashville. Its Directors, who volunteer to serve without compensation, reflect a diverse group of station owners and management. The RMLC’s staff consists of Executive Director William Velez, and Staff Accountant/Data Manager, Rebekah Smith.
The objective of the RMLC is to achieve fair and reasonable license fees with the music licensing organizations (such as ASCAP and BMI) on behalf of radio stations. The RMLC is dedicated to negotiating licenses that reflect the realities of the current and changing state of the radio business.
In 2016, the RMLC heads into a year that will feature a binding rate arbitration with SESAC and license fee renewal negotiations with ASCAP and BMI on behalf of the radio industry.
A fun fact about RMLC’s Bill Velez (pictured left):
“I owe my job at the RMLC to Michigan’s own – Ed Christian (Saga Communications). My first job out of college (1972) entailed licensing radio stations at ASCAP. Ed was one of my radio accounts and I did a favor for him at the time. I had no idea when I approached the RMLC for a job in 2007 that Ed was now the Chairman of the RMLC. Like they say, what goes around, comes around!”
Some of the RMLC’s license negotiation goals include:
- Implementation of licenses that fairly and accurately reflect station/industry economic performance, with the least amount of administrative intrusion;
- Program period and/or blanket license “carve-out” alternatives that offer the potential for further fee discounting based upon a station’s ability to make strategic music programming choices and/or license music directly from copyright owners;
- Negotiation of licenses that provide the broadest scope of rights possible with respect to new media applications (e.g., streaming, HD multicasting, mobile, and other “through-to-the-listener” applications); and continuation of the existing, court-mandated RMLC funding mechanism.
In terms of overall industry outreach, the RMLC:
- Provides information concerning industry license negotiations via staff participation at industry conferences such as the MFM/BCCA, NAB venues, and various state association events;
- Solicits appropriate feedback from all interested parties within the industry relative to music licensing issues;
- Raises funds from the industry in the amounts required to conduct effective negotiations and/or court litigations;
- Conducts research concerning the use and value of music to the radio industry;
- Evaluates legislative action required to remedy music licensing inequities;
- Identifies appropriate strategies to minimize the impact of other music licensing cartels; and
- Responds to the needs of members who seek advice and counsel on various music licensing matters.
For more information on RLMC, visit their website here.