Radio: Shortsighted logic for licensing fees that hurt Internet webcasters

The holiday season brought a grinch of sorts to Internet radio station webcasters: an increase in the cost of licensing fees for the music they play. In a decision announced in December, the new rates were developed as they have been every five years and were taking effect as of Jan. 1. But unlike previous years, the rates did not include a special provision for small- to medium-sized webcasters that allowed them to pay a percentage of revenue rather than a royalty per song, per listener. Considering that most small webcasters make no money, this was a huge cost savings, and the difference between allowing their hobby to continue or having to let it go. Island Classic Hits, for example, claims on its website that its fees are increasing from roughly $900 per year to more than $30,000 annually. This is typical, according to other webcasters to whom I have spoken. MORE

Popular Posts