RIAA’s new royalty rates will kill online radio!!
The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has recently released a revised fee schedule for internet radio. Left unchanged, these rates will end internet radio, period. The RIAA has effectively convinced this federal committee to establish rates that make online radio a non-viable business.
It’s an utterly ridiculous ruling that renders any form of internet radio non-economic. We are continuing in the belief that sanity will return as everyone involved, including the 50 million avid online radio listeners, realize just how outrageous this is.
You can probably tell by this post that I feel strongly about this. Online radio has opened up a new world for musicians and listeners alike. It has brought millions of otherwise disconnected music-lovers back to music radio, and has opened up tremendous access and promotion for thousands of musicians – both obscure and well known.
We are striving very hard to build a business. We employ eleven full time people in our ad sales team, and despite very high licensing and streaming costs, believed that we could make it work over the next several years if internet advertising continues to grow. This ruling drives the licensing fees (fees that are NOT paid by terrestrial broadcasters) completely out of reach, and makes our goal impossible.
This is a terribly ill-conceived attempt to crush a powerful and positive grassroots movement that is sweeping across the music world. The record labels’ struggles have nothing to do with online radio and killing it will further hurt their business, not help it.
Not only is Pandora Radio one of my favorite sites, it has changed the way I feel about music. Although I’ve been using this site a little less in the past two weeks (some of you may have noticed that the bookmarked songs in my sidebar haven’t changed), since I first discovered Pandora, I have found so many artists and songs I love. This has been the year I really figured out what music I like, because suddenly I had so many more options. That the music industry could think that limiting my access to radio would make me buy more CDs is ridiculous. Why should I buy a CD from an artist I don’t know anything about? Internet radio is not piracy.