You’re Screwed If You’re an Internet Radio Station

Royalty-Rate Hike Alarms Web Broadcasters

It’s about to get a lot more expensive to own an online radio station. The Copyright Royalty Board has just issued the new royalty rates:

The rates set by the board, effective retroactively to 2006, start at .08 cents per song, per listener.

WOW! That’s high! Before these rates, online radio stations had to pay 12% of their revenue as royalties, which in my opinion makes much more sense.

Something tells me that this is some sort of deal where the tradional radio stations have the Copyright Royalty Board in their back pocket. Especially when you consider how unfair the online deal is compared to what traditional radio stations pay:

The schedule highlights an inequality that has rankled many online entrepreneurs for years. Regular radio stations don’t pay royalties to performers for their over-the-airwaves broadcasts, although they do pay royalties to composers and songwriters.

What do you guys make of this?

5 thoughts on “You’re Screwed If You’re an Internet Radio Station”

  1. I think that it is an attempt by over-the-air radio to do damage to the online radio business. It shouldn’t make a difference if the broadcast is online or on the air. Many real radio stations are online as well. Do they have to pay the online rates too?

  2. I hate the politics behind these types of industries. Anything to do with the music industry has gotten quite nauseous. They act like a bunch of pretty little princesses that are entitled to everything. That crazy that regular radios get the pass, they hardly play music anymore. If I did a random sampling, and just turned the radio on for five seconds randomly twelve times throughout the day, nine of the times it would be a commercial, two times it would be the same song, and one time would be what I thought was a song that ultimately turns out to be another commercial.

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