Web Radio Stations Get Major Rate Hike

The US Copyright Royalty Board announced a substantial hike in Internet radio royalty rates. The move rejected arguments and desperate pleas made by webcasters, and will most likely shutter many online stations across the globe. The Board also adopted a controversal “per play” rate model, which was requested by digital royalty collection agency SoundExchange.

New Rates:
• 2006: $.0008 per play (retroactive)
• 2007: $.0011 per play
• 2008: $.0014 per play
• 2009: $.0018 per play
• 2010: $.0019 per play

* Per play is 1 song heard by 1 listener

Internet broadcasters already pay higher overall royalties than over-the-air broadcasters do, which makes absolutely no sense and its meant to “protect” traditional broadcasters.

For noncommercial webcasters the fee will be $500 up to 159,140 aggregate tuning hours (one listener listening for an hour) per month. Noncommercial webcasters who exceed that level pay at the commercial rate for all listening in excess of that limit.

The Future: This will wipe out the entire bottom layer of Online Radio stations who will not be able to operate in the black under the new structure. We can’t see how in this day and age of diminishing profits and payola radio play how that can be good for the industry. But its obvious that SoundExchange doesn’t care, since keeping track of the smallest players weighs down their company with additional accounting.

Author: FutureMusic

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