Mark May 15 in your diary. It’s the day Internet Radio in the United States will cease to be.
In an outrageous move, the US Copyright Royalty Board has refused to consider complaints from industry representatives against it’s earlier decision to implement the RIAA supported new royalty structure for online radio. The new fee structure, that will commence May 15, sees internet radio stations having to pay a per song, per listener rating that worse still in being implemented retrospectively back to the beginning on 2006.Currently internet radio stations pay a portion of profit for each station paid in royalties. On top of this, there will also be a minimum fee of $500 per channel per year.
The move won’t drive all internet radio stations offline, after all, not all internet radio stations are located in the United States, but it is going to see a pile of US based stations either shut up shop, or move to other countries, with a fair bit of talk about the place of a number of operators looking at moving to Canada.
Sites such as Pandora are urging users to write to their Congressman, if you’re in the US I’d encourage you to do so.