Internet Radio Royalty Hike — AKA More Stupidity

I spoke to business reporter Hiawatha Bray at The Boston Globe earlier this week about the new internet radio royalty rate increase. The resulting article is in the Boston Globe today. You can read it at And hey, they even LINKED to . This is no small accomplishment for the Globe, apparently — sometimes they link, but most times they do not.

A few details to clarify: Exploit Boston isn’t a music blog but it does include an event blog, internet radio station, photo collective and monthly board game night. Exploit Boston Radio has a couple hundred bands in rotation with 524 songs in the library. And there are dozens of listeners per day not total/overall. (What a sad day that would be if 24 people total listened to the station in one month. Ha!)

I’m all in favor of artists being paid for their work. But the way this rate increase is structured means there’s a $500 per station minimum and it is only charged to internet radio broadcasters and not terrestrial radio. Obviously this means small broadcasters are likely to go off the air and they are the ONLY STATIONS playing new/emerging/independent bands in regular rotation. Awesome. So if you are tired of hearing the same Top 40 bands on regular radio, now you can tune into internet radio and hear the same music over and over.

I was hoping Hiawatha would include my comments about podcasting. I really prefer to run Exploit Boston Radio through Live365 as an internet radio station. But if these rates really go through, I’m either going to have to shut down the station entirely or set it up as a podcast. And I really, really don’t want to run it as a podcast. The amount of time it would take to set that up and maintain would be annoying at best. I pay a monthly fee to Live365 that covers the music storage and streaming plus the ASCAP, BMI and SESAC fees. Podcasts are great for the ocassional show but to run a 24-hour station with several different playlists — not my idea of fun. Especially as a labor of love project.

Michael chimes in, too.

If you want to , Live365 has set up a helpful page of information and you should also contact your Senators and Representatives. If you’ve got some time on your hands, read the decision about the internet radio royalty increase.

One reply on “Internet Radio Royalty Hike — AKA More Stupidity”

Hey Gregg:

I haven’t shut down Exploit Boston Radio! It’s certainly a possibility but I haven’t given up yet. Live365 has done a fantastic job “fighting the good fight” for internet radio broadcasters and I’m not convinced it’s over yet.

I agree that people need to be paid but the lack of parity between internet radio and terrestrial radio is nothing short of ridiculous.


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