Well guys, today was considered "D Day" in the world of internet radio. Some of you may have heard about a pending decision from the Copyright Royalty Board; they oversee Soundexchange, which is one of the major performing agencies. Their decision was handed down around 5:15 this afternoon, and it wasn't good.
Through this year, there had been a Small Webcaster Agreement in place where anyone running a music-related internet radio station could pay a reasonable monthly flat rate that was primarily based on your station's total listener hours; in turn, you had a blanket license that took care of the 4 main performing agencies. The SWA will now be gone, and in its place will be a "per performance, per listener" rate. The rate is only a fraction of a penny, but it adds up quickly. Even with the miniscule number of listeners my stations have, my Soundexchange fees alone would run approximately 3 grand a year, or around 250 dollars a month. This really doesn't make me want to find out what ASCAP, BMI and SOCAN have in store!
Therefore, unless the miracle occurs of 10-20 people coming forward and offering to sponsor my stations for 15-25 dollars a month, then The Retro Attic and Awfully Awesome Eighties will be going dark very soon. I'm sorry that this has to happen, but the performing agencies only want the big boys around. Innovation will be all but gone when you look for oldies stations from now on. Why? Because the big boys(with MAYBE an isolated, rare exception) will only play the same, tired classics. Some of you are cool with that, but I KNOW there are MANY of you out there who complain that many top 40 hits from the past aren't getting played anymore.
The only alternative I have if I don't get any sponsors is doing occasional Mixcloud shows. Mixcloud does pay out royalties, and there has been no mention of any changes coming their way. The only drawback with that approach is the word "occasional" - no more 24/7, etc.
Any comments are welcomed through my station sites at http://retroatticrareoldiesradio.com and http://awfullyawesomeeighties.com. In conclusion, all I can say is that Rush knew what they were talking about in 1976 when they composed their "2112" epic. If you don't know what the song is about, then I highly recommend googling it.
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