Internet Radio Finally, Possibly, Maybe Saved

noah | July 7, 2009 4:30 pm

Forget those tussles over royalties–Internet radio is sticking around, everybody! Yes, those stations that didn’t get a reprieve from paying what they saw as oppressive royalties for playing music back in February have reached an agreement with the Copyright Royalty Board, a federal agency that collects fees from broadcasters. And judging by the vaguely begrudging statements given by spokespeople from both sides of the table, this deal may close the book on the struggle between Webcasters and the CRB that’s been going on since 2007. The numbers: • Webcasters with what is called “significant advertising revenue”—think Pandora or AOL Radio—will pay either 25 percent of revenue or a fee per song that starts at .08 cent for songs streamed in 2006 and increases to .14 cent in 2015. (They’ll be on the hook for whatever the greater amount is.) • Small sites, classified as those that bring in less than $1.25 million yearly revenue, will pay 12 to 14 percent of what they make for the right to stream music. Webcasters also agreed to be more transparent about their playlists and aggregate audiences when it came to giving up information to the royalty-collection organization SoundExchange, and those logs must be accessible on sites’ servers for four years. (Would this be an impolitic place to wonder about what happens if any online radio services go out of business before ’13? Hey, I lived through the first dot-com bust. I’m just saying.) Music Labels Reach Royalty Deal With Online Stations [NYT] Earlier: Internet Radio Gets Semi-Saved