Do you like listening to internet radio? I’m not talking about podcasts like Radio MacGuys, the TallyCast or the GrumpCast. Like most podcasters, I play independent artists or music that’s too old to be controlled by the RIAA. I’m talking about streaming internet radio stations. I listen to several including a great NPR station in Lafayette Louisiana (amazing Cajun, roots and international music) and of course, the Cowboy Cultural Society.
I listen to internet radio because I can find the music I enjoy listening to instead of the same old crap that every old skool radio station in the US plays.
The recording industry has never had an easy time understanding the value proposition of the internet and have, at every opportunity, tried to shut down the media until they figured out a way to put a meter on it.
They finally have; in the form of the a substantial increase in the royalty rates charged to internet radio stations. The new rate structure is so high that most independent stations are not going to be able to stay in business.
While some people may think that they don’t have a dog in this fight, it’s not true. It turns out that the royalty rate is actually set by the United States Government. On March 2nd, the Coypright Royalty Board (CRB) approved the increase requested by the RIAA.
Please join me in learning about the issue and if you agree that it’s a bad decision, sign the online petition and drop a note to your congressperson. Whether your genre is afropop, polka or j-indy, streaming internet radio is just about the only place to hear what you enjoy.