As a somewhat avid listener of AM Sportsradio, I usually get my fill every day of popular songs when they go into or come out of commercials. But these songs never have one word uttered, rather it's the background played in a loop until the hosts come back on. Same thing with some background during a sports or traffic report.
My question for anyone who works at a radio station is whether each station has to pay out royalities for a song, or if they can get away with it as long as the artist doesn't sing. It's just one of those little things that keep me awake at night.
There are a few different answers to this, but I'll give you why I don't use the vocals on my show:
We talk over the music coming out of ad breaks and it just doesn't sound quite as good when we talk over vocals.
There are also several different ways a station is licensed for music. My AM talker only runs about three hours od music programming a week. So we pay a lower fee and report all the songs we play to ASCAP and BMI.
A fulltime music station may decide to pay the larger fee and only have to report every so often a sample playlist for a certain time period.
That's the extremely short version of it, anyway.
Now we DO have some vocals in when they aren't the main focus of the song...in fact, the opening theme to my Sportstalk show is the opening to Heavy D's "We Got Our Own Thing"
Some of my fave "bumpers" are from Adam Ant, Nikka Costa and Moby....we at one time had over 250 different ones.
George Washington gave his signature The Government gave its hand They said for now and ever more that this was Indian Land
"As long as the moon shall rise" "As long as the rivers flow" "As long as the sun will shine" "As long as the grass shall grow"
When I was at a college station, all we did was report every song to the publishing companies. That doesn't count ID's or bumpers, for which we used "real" songs (as opposed to library music), just because we could. Keep in mind, though, it was a college station, and I stuck to production and DJ'ing rather than business.
The song must be played longer then 45 seconds to count for ASCAP.
It also is a good way to fullfill your Promise of Performance (PoP). If you are licensed for talk radio, you must provide a certain amount of Talk, Music and Local programming per day. The same goes for any radio station for that matter!
I'm a lumberjack and I'm ok, I work all night and I sleep all day!