Music Industry To Kill Online Radio

You'd think that one of these times the RIAA would make a smart move. Well, I guess the only word in their vocabulary is "money". One of these years, they will figure out that just means, "losing money".

The Copyright Royalty Board recently released its updated rates for Internet radio stations. Five or six years ago, the board finally required online stations to pay royalties and it killed most of the small radio operations on the Internet. It was the case that many did not make enough money to pay the eight cents per song played to the right persons. It's just insane, too, that the real over-the-air and satellite stations are not required to pay these fees. Thank the Lord for that, because RadioU can still be on the air despite a much higher Internet streaming cost.

However, even the biggest names in online broadcasting are crying foul because the rates are going up drastically. Many, including the Music Genome Project's Pandora, are saying they will have to go out of business. No online radio will be left unless its sponsored by companies that can bleed cash. If you run the numbers, stations will be required to pay thousands or millions more per year. But there's even something more at stake.

As the folks at This Week in Media were saying, the RIAA has almost run out of town all the ways to get free promotion of their music. If online radio does not exist, there's only boring over-the-air radio that is free for listeners. How am I supposed to listen to music that I like? Where am I to find new music? The guys on TWiM were saying that they don't buy any new music because they don't hear any new stuff. I'd love to bring the music of to the Internet in the form of podcasts or something, but with all the fees, it's never going to happen.

What can you do? Write your state representatives, the Copyright Royalty Board, and at least sign this online petition.


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