A huge thank you to everyone who has been so supportive over the past week as we’ve been hit by the stunning ruling on webcast rates. It’s very heartening for us to see how much people care about this, and how willing listeners are to pitch in. And how many of you there are!!
There has been an enormous groundswell of opposition to this decision, and we’ve been hard at work on how to best channel the energy in the right direction. Because the webcasting community does not have an entrenched and powerful lobbying presence in DC, grassroots legislative pressure – constituents contacting their representatives – is clearly our biggest ally.
Internet radio is hostage to a blatantly discriminatory double standard that was written into the federal statute governing webcasting several years ago, following an intensive lobbying effort by the RIAA. We need to redress this, and create a more level playing field – one that of course rewards musicians for their work (I spent years in a band van myself and have always been driven by a desire to lift up musicians), and one that also understands the business realities, and benefits of online radio.
While we figure this out, below are a few of the more informative write ups we’ve seen in the past week. We also suggest that you visit and sign this petition put together by a collection of webcasters.
Doc Searls Blog
Jason Fry article in Wall Street Journal
LA Times Editorial
Thanks again for your support.
Tim (Founder)

Comments

  1. John
    April 26, 2007 at 10:38pm
    I just found Pandora, but have been a loyal, paying launch.yahoo.com listener for years. The unfortunate reality is that net radio may have to become a relatively expensive paid service to survive. No more streaming utopia, however, I don't think it's a death knell. I think I pay 35 per year for Launch while it could easily worth 10 times that with very few changes. Simple truth is, I don't have, or need, an extensive mp3 collection, because I have my own personal radio station that is *better* than any mp3 collection I could ever assemble. Why is it better? Because I don't have to build the playlist. Launch also comes up with stuff that I would a) never have heard otherwise or b) have long forgotten about. I also find it very satisfying to block crap I don't want to ever hear again. You can't find that deal on any other radio format. The mix I've assembled is like none other on Earth. How much is that worth!?!? To me, more than $35 per year, and I'm sure others will agree. Sorry, I don't mean to tout a competing product on Pandora, I'm sure Pandora is every bit as cool, if not cooler than Launch. I'm just more familiar with Launch. I said earlier minor changes are necessary. Really, it's just one. I need to be able to stream my net radio to my mobile device. I can hear Verizon and Sprint shudder now, but that's what I want - my net radio station everywhere. I've seen it done with Sirius, so I know the technology exists. If Sling can bring my hdtv to my phone, someone can bring my net radio station. As for monitization, lets throw around some numbers. If I read this thing right, it will cost a provider $500 to start a new radio station. Since every customer essentially creates his or her own station, that's the first $21 per month off the top on a 2 year contract. Add $9 per month at the .0019 per track rate for 2010 gives the customer 4737 tracks over the course of the month. Figure a conservative 3 minutes per track and you're at 8 hours of music per day for 29.5 days. That takes care of the label, but how do you keep the lights on and the bandwidth paid for? Sell stuff. Sell songs. Sell t-shirts. Sell concert tickets. Sell fanclubs. Sell advertising. All the radio station does is bring to your portal the masses of faithful listeners - and it keeps them coming back. The game will have to change in a big way. The free ride may be over, but, the future of net radio as a paid service should be bright.
  2. John
    April 26, 2007 at 10:41pm
    For the record, I did sign the petition. This was the reply from my Senator. Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding royalty increases for Internet radio stations. I appreciate hearing from you. On March 6, 2007, the Copyright Royalty Board publicly decided to replace the revenue-based method of royalty payment with a per performance, per listener scale for commercial stations. The fee to stream one song to one listener is $.0008 in 2006 and gradually increases to $.0019 in 2010. Stations operated by tax-exempt, non-profit organizations would be charged a minimum of $500 per year for a certain number of listening hours. You may be interested to know that on March 7, 2007, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Technology and the Internet held a hearing entitled "The Digital Future of the United States: Part II - The Future of Radio." You may view a webcast of the hearing on the committee's website at . I hope you find the hearing interesting, and should legislation on Internet radio royalties be brought before the Senate for a vote, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind. Thanks again for contacting me. I hope you hear from you in the future on this or any other issue of concern to you. Sincerely, Russell D. Feingold United States Senator
  3. Zeroe G
    April 29, 2007 at 9:19pm
    This website and all others like it are a blessing to those who have nothing else to cling to but music. Leave it to the RIAA to plot against the people and their passion. Pandora Forever
  4. Scott Patterson
    April 30, 2007 at 7:56pm
    Tim- Great job on the site...I know my friends and I listen to it all the time. I especially love how I can put one RARE song and still get a whole bunch of common music which I've never heard of. The RIAA should realize this a great way to help discover unknown artists. Anyway, keep fighting the good fight!
  5. country music
    May 03, 2007 at 11:05am
    I said earlier minor changes are necessary. Really, it's just one. I need to be able to stream my net radio to my mobile device. I can hear Verizon and Sprint shudder now, but that's what I want - my net radio station everywhere. I've seen it done with Sirius, so I know the technology exists. If Sling can bring my hdtv to my phone, someone can bring my net radio station.
  6. Alpharetta Homes
    May 10, 2007 at 12:34pm
    Any updates?
  7. ramiro castaneda
    May 15, 2007 at 1:07pm
    Pandora gave me a piece of home. I am not able to receive the music that i grew up with through any other media channel. It is sad to see unfair rulings take away which i once hailed as amazing and simply invogorating
  8. comunione
    May 25, 2007 at 8:20pm
    Inferno! luogo grande per sicuro!
  9. Freelance Website Design
    June 11, 2007 at 8:45am
    That is unfortunate. I loved pandora and used it often. What a shame. :( Sorry guys.
  10. Gene
    September 21, 2007 at 2:55pm
    People shouldn't put songs up on public sites unless money goes to the musicians or other legal rights' holders. Unless the musicians agree. I applaud the decision.

Comments are closed.