I heard a rumor that online radio is in trouble, so I did some Googling and found SaveNetRadio.org. According to the site:
“A recent decision by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) that increases the royalties owed by Internet webcasters pay to play music by between 300 and 1200% has jeopardized the future of Internet Radio. This decision will affect millions of Americans who enjoy the unparalleled radio diversity that is only available on the Internet; and hundreds of thousands of artists who depend on Net radio to reach new fans, and thousands of webcasters whose livelihood depends on their ability to play music for their listeners.”
Because of the major increase in royalty payments, big Internet radio providers such as AOL, Yahoo! Radio and Pandora are in trouble. Internet radio now pays much more royalties than broadcast radio or Satellite radio, and since Internet radio is all advertising-based, it won’t be able to sustain itself much longer. SaveNetRadio.org is dedicated to lobbying against further damaging legislation and working for improvement.
I can see the dilemma here, but I’m troubled by the difficulty Internet radio is experiencing. In my mind, it’s only a matter of time until AM and FM radio is extinct and everyone streams stations online. It seems like today, people have much easier access to Internet than to radio frequencies, considering most people don’t let their Blackberrys leave their sides (guilty).
I would have assumed that each radio station would soon be making cell phone applications so you can stream your favorite station at work, at home, in the car and on the road. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about missing your favorite morning show when you travel or static and flipping through new frequencies on road trips. Pandora already has an advanced phone application.
I see this as inevitable, and something I would absolutely enjoy. (At least, before the Edge 103.9 traded in Chuck Powell for Adam Corolla.) So I hope Internet radio doesn’t go away, because I see great things to come from it.