Fraser Institute News Release: Emergence of New, Low-Cost Technologies Requires Further Deregulation
Group logo for Marketing & AdvertisingMarketing & Advertising 9 months, 3 weeks ago 1 post

VANCOUVER, BC–(Marketwired – May 25, 2016) – The emergence of low-cost methods of creating and distributing broadcasting content means that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's (CRTC) traditional policies to protect and subsidize Canadian content are increasingly unsustainable, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“The proliferation of digital producers and distributors of low-cost, online programing is seriously challenging the ongoing viability of the CRTC's ability to regulate. Simply put, the CRTC cannot impose the same antiquated regulations used for traditional broadcast to online programming without seriously restricting access to internet programs,” said Steven Globerman, Fraser Institute senior fellow, Kaiser Professor of International Business at Western Washington University, and author of Technological Change and Its Implications for Regulating Canada Television Broadcasting Sector.

The taxpayer-funded CRTC regulates all Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications activities. Conventional broadcasters (TV stations, for example) must adhere to CRTC rules, which include Canadian content quotas and mandatory funding of homegrown content.

The study notes that the emergence of online content providers, such as YouTube and Netflix, which are not subject to the CRTC's regulations, has created an unlevel playing field in the broadcasting industry.

“While traditional broadcasters have Canadian content quotas and funding taxes imposed on them, online broadcasters enjoy a much more flexible regulatory environment,” Globerman said.

According to the study, the solution is not for the CRTC to impose new restrictions and regulations on producing and broadcasting online content, but rather to further deregulate Canada's traditional broadcasting industry so it can compete with Internet broadcasters on a level playing field.

“With the explosion of online content, Canadians have a plethora of choices and options now available to them. Canadians will benefit from further deregulation of the traditional broadcast sector,” Globerman said.

The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute's independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit www.fraserinstitute.org

Corus Shuffles Its Deck, Reorganizes
Group logo for Jock Talk Lounge Jock Talk Lounge 9 months, 3 weeks ago 1 post

Corus Entertainment has given birth to a new combined structure following the integration of Shaw Media into its fold.

Under the reorg the media and entertainment company has developed five teams to lead its sales, marketing, content, international and communications work.

The client marketing team will be led, as earlier announced, by Barb McKergow. A team of seven people will report to McKergow, with Lynn Chambers, former VP of content marketing slipping into a newly created role as senior director, branded entertainment and experience, according to an internal memo obtained by MiC.

Emma Fachini and Mary Lepage both continue in their roles as directors, sales for client marketing.

Bruce Shepherd is moving from his position as senior manager, marketing ventures to manager, regional sales for British Columbia, a role in which he will responsible for agency-facing integrations and sales for the Vancouver market.

Dave Rigby, also formerly a manager for marketing ventures, will take on the same role as Shepherd for Western Canada, including Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Tracy Christopher is in a newly created role as director, digital production and client services. In her previous role she was director, creative and production, broadcast and interactive, client marketing for TV sales.

Trevor Williams retains his position as director of production for branded sales content.

The digital sales team will be led by Brett Pearson and will work in partnership with the overall sales team to develop multiplatform opportunities.

Dean Shoukas and Lyna Sapijonis join the team as senior manager, digital sales. Sapijonis was part of the Shaw Media team in the same position.

Philippe Kleime has been promoted from director of ad opps to director platforms and strategy. In his new role, Kleime is tasked with strategy for a digital roadmap and to oversee digital vendor partnerships.

Whitney Bloom stays in the role of monetization strategist.

Content distribution, which was previously under the leadership of Maria Hale, now goes to Shawn Praskey. Praskey was previously VP for content distribution. A team of four will report to him, with Drew Robinson continuing as director, content distribution and Beate Jack moving from that role into director of affiliate marketing. Hale now leads content and strategy for Global Entertainment.

Corus’ former VP of research has moved into the role of lead for its research and consumer insights division. This division has been providing advertisers with key data based on information from its Audience Intelligence Platform as well as surveys and in-house research conducted by its team.

Most of the team here remains the same, with the exception of David Bennett, who has been given the rank of senior director, digital audience insights and engagement. In his prior role he was in a VP position for audience engagement and development.

The revenue optimization team will be lead by Tammy Baird, with no changes planned at the moment for the revenue team. Those changes may come in early 2017 when the traffic and sales teams are integrated.

Brand and marketing strategy will be led by Susan Shaefer in a new role as SVP, brands and marketing. Shaefer was previously EVP, marketing and corporate communications; she heads a team of five. On her team is Jim Johnson, who moves from the role of VP, payTV and affiliate marketing to VP, marketing global.

While most of the changes involve a staff shuffle from within Corus, the company’s in-house media agency will be led by a Shaw employee. Scott MacLeod, who was previously senior director of marketing, media planning at Shaw Media has stepped into that role.

Byron Garby has been confirmed as general sales manager, national radio, and will report to Gerry Mackrell, VP of sales.

At the local level, sales will be led by Mike Season, who was formerly director of sales, Corus Radio, Vancouver.

Read more: mediaincanada.com/2016/05/11/corus-shuffles-its-deck-reorganizes/#ixzz4AAJ2pKsA

Morley Safer, veteran ”60 Minutes” correspondent, dies at 84
Group logo for Feedback | Tell Us How We Are Doing Feedback | Tell Us How We Are Doing 9 months, 4 weeks ago 1 post

NEW YORK, N.Y. – During a visit last Friday with a frail Morley Safer, Tom Brokaw exchanged memories with him about fellow journalists Ben Bradlee, Don Hewitt and others who had died.

“All the great ones are gone,” Safer said quietly to Brokaw, the veteran NBC newsman recalled. “I said, 'No, Morley, you're still with us.'”

On Thursday, Safer's death at age 84 swelled the loss. The “60 Minutes” mainstay represented a bridge between the glory ink-stained-wretch days of foreign correspondents — Ernest Hemingway was an early inspiration — and the blooming electronic age of TV news.

Safer spun artful stories about the good life but was equally adroit reporting on social injustices or exposing a military atrocity in Vietnam that played an early role in changing Americans' view of the war.

In declining health, he died at his home in Manhattan. He announced his retirement last week and “60 Minutes” aired a tribute hour on Sunday, which he watched from his home, CBS News spokesman Kevin Tedesco said.

That program marked the close of a 61-year career for Safer, who, the network said, had the longest-ever run on prime-time network television.

During his 46 years on “60 Minutes,” Safer did 919 stories, from his first in 1970 about U.S. Sky Marshals to his last this March, a profile of Danish architect Bjarke Ingels.

It was in 1970 that Safer joined “60 Minutes,” then just two years old and far from the national institution it would become under creator-producer Hewitt. Safer claimed the co-host chair alongside a talk-show-host-turned-newsman named Mike Wallace.

During the next four decades, Safer's rich tobacco-and-whiskey-cured voice delivered stories that ranged from art, music and popular culture, to “gotcha” investigations, to one of his favourite pieces, which, in 1983, resulted in the release from prison of Lenell Geter, the engineer wrongly convicted of a holdup at a fast food restaurant and serving a life sentence.

His honours include three George Foster Peabody awards, 12 Emmys and two George Polk Memorial Awards.

Safer is survived by his wife, the former Jane Fearer, and his daughter Sarah.

Born in Toronto in 1931, Safer began his news career in Canada and England before being hired by Reuters wire service in its London bureau. Then, in 1955, he was offered a correspondent's job in the Canadian Broadcasting Company's London bureau, where he worked nine years before CBS News hired him for its London bureau.

In 1965 he opened CBS' Saigon bureau.

That August, “The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” aired a report by Safer that rocked viewers, who, at that point, remained mostly supportive of the U.S. war effort in Vietnam.

What he encountered, and captured on film, was the spectacle of American soldiers employing their Zippo lighters to burn thatched-roof, mud-plastered huts to the ground, despite having met with no resistance from the village's residents.

Safer's expose ignited a firestorm, with President Lyndon Johnson giving CBS President Frank Stanton a tongue-lashing.

Safer rotated in and out of Vietnam three times, then, in 1967, began three years as London bureau chief.

In 1970, he was brought to New York to succeed original co-host Harry Reasoner on an innovative newsmagazine that, in its third season, was still struggling in the ratings, and would rely on Safer and Wallace as its only co-anchors for the next five years.

He quickly became a fixture at “60 Minutes” — and part of that show's rough-and-tumble behind-the-scenes culture as the stature and ratings of the show took off.

By 2006 Safer had reduced his output, accepting half-time status. But he remained after the departures of Wallace — who retired in 2006 at age 88, and died in 2012 — as well as Hewitt, who stepped down in 2004 at 81, and died in 2009, and Andy Rooney, who, at 92, ended 33 years as the resident essayist in October 2011, and died a month later.

“Mind if I smoke?” Safer asked an Associated Press reporter a few years ago as he closed his office door at “60 Minutes” while flouting health laws, inasmuch as his cigarette by then was halfway done. It felt appropriately old school, given Safer's link to the days when legends — as well as smoke — filled those hallways.

“60 Minutes” carries on, but now the legends are gone.

SiriusXM Canada Going Private in $367 Million Deal
Group logo for Jock Talk Lounge Jock Talk Lounge 9 months, 4 weeks ago 1 post

SiriusXM has announced an agreement with SirusXM Canada, where the Canadian satcaster will be going private as its U.S. counterpart increases its stake in the company. The deal is valued at $367 million. The deal will see SiriusXM and controlling shareholder Liberty Media increase its stake in SiriusXM Canada from 37 percent to 70 percent, which gives it approximately 30 percent of its voting shares.

The rest of its equity and voting stakes will be held by Canadian broadcaster Slaight Communications Inc and private equity firm Obelysk Media. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will no longer be a shareholder in Sirius XM Canada following the transaction. According to Reuters, the CBC was SiriusXM Canada's second-largest shareholder.

“This proposed transaction shows SiriusXM's and SiriusXM Canada's commitment to serving the Canadian market with our leading bundle of premium content, much of which will continue to be created in Canada. The existing Canada-led governance structure will be preserved while vastly improving cooperation between the two companies on next generation products and services that will ensure a healthy future for satellite radio in Canada,” said Jim Meyer, SiriusXM CEO. “While the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will cease to be a shareholder in SiriusXM Canada following the transaction, it will continue to support the company as a programming provider.”

SiriusXM expects to contribute approximately $275 million (in U.S. dollars) to facilitate the transaction. Additionally, the licensing and services agreements between SiriusXM and SiriusXM Canada will be renewed and extended upon the consummation of the proposed transaction.

The deal is subject to approval of the SiriusXM Canada shareholders, receipt of Canadian regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions. SiriusXM expects the deal to close no later than the end of the fourth quarter of 2016, upon which time SiriusXM Canada will no longer be a publicly traded stock.

- See more at: www.fmqb.com/Article.asp?id=3007467#sthash.hkZHZLKK.dpuf

Humor: The Guy In The Radio
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By Jerry Nelson

Radio has always been an integral part of my life, much in the same way that having a steering wheel is an integral part of driving a car. In both cases, things simply wouldn’t be the same without it.

The radio that sat on our kitchen table when I was a kid was blue-green and about the size of a breadbox. An overheated tube had melted a hole in its plastic case, allowing an eerie glow and the aroma of hot electronics to escape.

I asked Dad how the radio worked, and he said that a miniature man lived inside. If I looked closely, Dad said, I could see the tiny guy in his tiny cowboy hat.

The fib was so detailed, it had to be true. I peered into the radio through its blowhole and imagined that I could see the Lilliputian announcer.

Radio became ever-more important in my teens. Radio kept me abreast of highbrow cultural developments, by which I mean the American Top 40. Without radio, I would never have heard “Chick-A-Boom” by Daddy Dewdrop.

I listened to the radio while milking cows, driving the tractor, and when I tried to create a romantic atmosphere in my car while “parking” with a date. I learned that “Chick-A-Boom” is not the best choice for the latter situation.

Radio is a powerful medium, which is why I was nervous as a goose in a featherbed factory when my book’s publisher signed me up for a national radio tour.

The words “national radio tour” might evoke a mental image of jetting around in a Gulfstream and visiting far-flung radio stations. This image would be erroneous.

A radio tour, I learned, is done from one’s home, using one’s landline phone. So much for sipping mimosas at 35,000 feet!

The tour was set to begin at 6:45 a.m. Getting up that early wasn’t a problem. Thanks to extreme apprehension, I was wide-eyed as an overcaffeinated lemur by 4:00 a.m.

“Who am I to be on the radio?” I asked myself as the digital alarm clock ticked down the minutes. “I often have trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time. Will I be able to talk and think at the same time?”

A fellow named Peter was to phone me shortly before air time. The appointed minute came . . . and went. Panic rising in my throat, I dialed his emergency number.

“We couldn’t get past your telemarketer blocker,” said Peter, sounding a bit miffed. “We’re running late, so this first one’s going to be a cold start.”
I was about to ask what he meant by “cold start” when I heard an announcer guy on the other end say, “And we’re live on the air with Jerry Nelson, author of the new book, Dear County Agent Guy. Good morning, Jerry!”

Yikes! I felt like a landlubber who’d been heaved into the deep end and told, “There you go. Swim!”

I floundered about best as I could until the 10 minutes were over. There was a click, and I heard Peter say, “OK, good. The next interview will begin shortly. Stand by.”

I was about to ask what he meant by “cold start” when I heard an announcer guy on the other end say, “And we’re live on the air with Jerry Nelson, author of the new book, Dear County Agent Guy. Good morning, Jerry!”

Yikes! I felt like a landlubber who’d been heaved into the deep end and told, “There you go. Swim!”

I floundered about best as I could until the 10 minutes were over. There was a click, and I heard Peter say, “OK, good. The next interview will begin shortly. Stand by.”

And so it went all day. I spoke with folks from upstate New York to Florida, from the Shenandoah Valley to sunny California. I would like to say that it became less nerve-wracking as the day went on, but that would be a fib.

I constantly worried that I would belch or cough or sneeze on live radio. I was concerned that our cat, Sparkles, would come to the door and demand to be petted by meowing loudly. Or that our dog, Sandy, might decide that this would be an opportune time to yell at the barn swallows flitting around our farmstead.

I had just started chatting with a station in Kentucky when the line went dead. Instant terror! Do I hang up? Stay on the line? I opted to stay on the line and call Peter with my cell phone.

“I don’t know what happened just now,” he said. “But the problem isn’t on our end.”

This was probably true. I imagined that Peter was in a room that’s stuffed to the rafters with jillion-dollar, starship-like electronics. I glanced at my desktop phone, an el-cheapo model that we bought at Saver Sam’s for $19.95.

Sometimes I would hear background chatter as Peter and his crew orchestrated their behind-the-scenes magic. I felt as if I were eavesdropping on the radio traffic of an Apollo mission. It was all too mind-blowing to contemplate for more than a minute.

By the end of the day, my pipes were sore, and I was frazzled. But I also had a heightened appreciation for that tiny guy who lives inside my radio.

Canada’s National Campus and Community Radio Stations
Group logo for AnnouncingAnnouncing 10 months, 1 week ago 1 post

Canada’s National Campus and Community Radio Station (NCRA) has launched a campaign to petition that Bell, Telus and Rogers “unlock” the use of the FM radio receiver on all applicable Canadian mobile phones.

The NCRA states it has support from the CBC network, and has partnered with US mobile radio app NextRadio, which helped launch an identical campaign in the US several years ago. The ongoing American campaign, called Free Radio on My Phone, is also backed by radio organizations such as NPR and American Public Media.

In its letter to members, NCRA says its aim is to turn on an FM chip inside Canadian devices that would allow them to access the FM radio frequency without the use of cellular data. It states that FM chips are most often pre-installed in smartphones, and acknowledges that some devices (including certain Sony and Blackberry devices) already have the feature enabled. Its aim, however, is for all devices to have access regardless of carrier or OEM, and to achieve that goal the NCRA is asking the general public to write, call and petition the major telecoms and the CRTC.

“These organizations want to keep these chips disabled because they make money off of data use, whereas the FM chips don’t require data,” says the letter, “The sector is interested in turning them on because it opens up more listening opportunities for people to hear FM radio.”

The NCRA and Free Radio on My Phone both note that aside from the obvious benefit of listening to free radio for entertainment, FM radio can also be the most reliable form of mass communication in emergency situations, such as the wildfires in Fort McMurray.

In what could be an encouraging sign for the Canadian campaign, its American counterpart has succeeded in making progress over the last few years. Those on the Sprint network in the US can now get free FM radio on all Android devices, and AT&T and Blu are rolling out the addition as well. T-Mobile is reported to be following suit late this year or early 2017. Apple, which holds a large share of the overall smartphone market, is holding out on enabling the feature, however.

MobileSyrup has reached out for comment to Bell, Telus and Rogers.

Update: Rogers has replied with the following comment, stating that it is the OEMs that have the power to enable FM chips, not them.

“We’re always looking to offer our customers new features on their devices. Enabling FM chips in our smartphone lineup requires the support of the device manufacturers and we’re working with them on any plans they have for FM radio.”

Bell has also replied that the onus lies on OEMs.

“Bell offers a number of devices in our line-up that support FM radio, from Samsung, Sony, HTC, Blackberry and other manufacturers. No special activation is required, but most manufacturers note the service requires a tethered headset to act as an FM antenna for clear reception.”

Telus echoes the other members of the big three’s statements.

“Most chipsets are capable of receiving FM radio, but not all the manufacturers turn on the functionality. TELUS has always sought to enrich its clients’ mobile experience with new features and a number of devices we offer support the FM radio app such as such as HTC M8, M9, Moto E, Moto G, BlackBerry devices 10.2 and greater.

mobilesyrup.com/2016/05/12/radio-association-demands-the-big-three-give-canadians-free-fm-radio-on-their-phones/

Radio Make It Local
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“Yes!” was the answer to the question ‘Is it a good thing that a local radio station is based in the area it broadcasts to?’.

Dave Coull, the Group’s Content Director, confirmed that respondents had agreed that it was important that a radio station was based in the area it broadcasts to. “Except one, all 1,753 surveyed agreed,” he said. “If you genuinely want to produce proper local radio our listeners believe it’s better to be based in the area you serve” said Coull.

William Rogers, the Group’s Chief Executive, who announced the launch of Local Radio Day just ten days ago, said that the presence of a local station within the area it broadcasts to is clearly something local listener’s value because “they’ve made it clear that’s what they think.”

“Listeners are telling us that they want their local radio station to attend community events and address local issues” said Rogers. “When you couple that with 92% of respondents confirming they’d even campaign to save their local radio station should it be under threat of closure, the results are even more conclusive.”

Whilst the FM frequency continues to be the most popular platform for local radio by some margin, the need for it to be available across multiple platforms was also clear. The research confirmed that many listeners now listen to their local radio station on a variety of digital platforms including DAB, mobile app and online.

The importance of local news was highlighted in the research with 88% of respondents describing it as either extremely important or important to them. Where listeners get their local news from was also clarified. Those surveyed confirmed they are twice as likely to get their local news from their local radio station, whether that be on-air or online, as they were from local newspapers (all platforms) and regional TV (all platforms) combined.

“Whether it is the local news or the weather, having that content produced in the area it broadcasts to increases the likelihood that it will be correct, locally relevant and truly reflective of the location it is meant for,” Coull said.

On the 27th May some 40 local radio stations will be celebrating Local Radio Day, an initiative that will see events, tours and community events all focused on representing “proper local radio” and the impact it has on the communities it serves. “If other local radio stations would like to get involved we’d be delighted to hear from them” said Rogers.

radiotoday.co.uk/2016/05/ukrd-most-people-want-locally-based-radio/

Internet Free Streaming Days Are Gone
Group logo for Jock Talk Lounge Jock Talk Lounge 1 year, 1 month ago 1 post

Under new regulations, internet-only radio will be charged more for rights to play music. (Carolyn Duff / The DePaulia)
This past December the Copyright Royalty Board, the group responsible for overseeing copyrights and royalty payments through the Library of Congress, announced new rates for music played via the Internet. To be clear, this impacts online-only radio stations, not FM and AM radio, or satellite radio.

The new law significantly increases the cost a station pays each time a song is played. In the world of streaming and Internet radio, having more listeners is not always a good thing. The more people tuning in, the more money the station owes.

The discussion of how musical artists are compensated for music played digitally has become an increasingly visible topic. Last year artists such as Taylor Swift and Adele made headlines for holding out on streaming services that some argue do not pay artists enough.

The extra money from Internet stations may be a nice boost to the artists receiving airplay, but consider some of the groups that will have to foot the bill.

Radio DePaul, the university’s Internet only radio station, is not spared from the increase. Unlike some other local colleges or high schools with an FM radio station, Radio DePaul operates solely online, and therefore receives no special or educational licensing from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

“We are an educational college station, even though that’s not official,” Radio DePaul faculty advisor Scott Vyverman said. “The FCC doesn’t recognize or oversee streaming radio, educational or otherwise. While we know who we are and why DePaul supports our operation and further know that we shouldn’t be held to the same copyright fee rates as Pandora, the Copyright Royalty Board has seen fit to lump us together. If we had a license, we would navigate and deal with this differently.”

One step the station could take would be to reduce the amount of music played on the station, though that would fundamentally alter the content. The other option would be to consider fundraising tactics. Vyverman hopes to take neither road.

“Focusing more on fundraising would not be something that I would welcome. It would fundamentally change who we are. We will cross that bridge if we have to, but for now, we are looking to deal with the hand we’ve been dealt,” he said.

Beyond the implications the new copyright laws may have on the university’s radio station, the new laws ultimately are a burden to those seeking content that cannot be found elsewhere.

Internet radio has offered listeners some salvation from commercial radio. Niche formats have been able to find small, active communities online where artists can continue to receive airplay and reach fans.

Veteran Chicago program director and DJ Rick O’Dell operated an Internet-based smooth jazz radio station for three years after the format was left without a home on Chicago radio. O’Dell filled the void for listeners until shutting the station down on Jan. 1, when the increased rates went into effect.

But it is not so much an “us” versus “them” mentality between broadcasters and artists.

“The law isn’t counterproductive, because artists deserve compensation,” O’Dell said. “Internet broadcasters who were running their businesses as a serious, legitimate enterprise appreciate that artists deserve to be paid.”

“In many ways I preferred to see those dollars go into an artist’s pocket as opposed to a faceless corporation.  The new royalty increases weren’t equitably applied.  That’s the problem I have with it, not the fact that I have to pay royalties in the first place,” said O’Dell.

Unfortunately, it can be a double-edged sword. Artists can only receive royalties if someone is listening to their music via an online station. An online station can only operate and play the music if it can afford to.

It is in the Internet broadcasters’ best interests to no longer do it alone. Instead of operating as independent entities, some organization on the part of Internet stations could go a long way in influencing future changes.

“If Internet broadcasters had been better organized, we at least could have had a seat at the table,” O’Dell said. “As it was, we weren’t represented at all.  That’s not the fault of the FCC or CRB.  That’s our fault.  You can’t influence the results of the game if you’re not in the game.”

Without representation or organization, the Internet radio industry will continue to have to abide by laws in which they had no say in crafting.

For stations like Radio DePaul, there is some hope that other educational based outlets could join forces.

“Thankfully we have the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System on our side. They are fighting the good fight for us and I hope that they will continue to appeal and argue on behalf of all college stations, especially the streaming-only stations,” Vyverman said.

Otherwise, voices and content lacking representation on traditional radio risk being silenced by the new payment

Internet Free Streaming Days Are Gone
Group logo for Jock Talk Lounge Jock Talk Lounge 1 year, 1 month ago 1 post

Under new regulations, internet-only radio will be charged more for rights to play music. (Carolyn Duff / The DePaulia)
This past December the Copyright Royalty Board, the group responsible for overseeing copyrights and royalty payments through the Library of Congress, announced new rates for music played via the Internet. To be clear, this impacts online-only radio stations, not FM and AM radio, or satellite radio.

The new law significantly increases the cost a station pays each time a song is played. In the world of streaming and Internet radio, having more listeners is not always a good thing. The more people tuning in, the more money the station owes.

The discussion of how musical artists are compensated for music played digitally has become an increasingly visible topic. Last year artists such as Taylor Swift and Adele made headlines for holding out on streaming services that some argue do not pay artists enough.

The extra money from Internet stations may be a nice boost to the artists receiving airplay, but consider some of the groups that will have to foot the bill.

Radio DePaul, the university’s Internet only radio station, is not spared from the increase. Unlike some other local colleges or high schools with an FM radio station, Radio DePaul operates solely online, and therefore receives no special or educational licensing from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

“We are an educational college station, even though that’s not official,” Radio DePaul faculty advisor Scott Vyverman said. “The FCC doesn’t recognize or oversee streaming radio, educational or otherwise. While we know who we are and why DePaul supports our operation and further know that we shouldn’t be held to the same copyright fee rates as Pandora, the Copyright Royalty Board has seen fit to lump us together. If we had a license, we would navigate and deal with this differently.”

One step the station could take would be to reduce the amount of music played on the station, though that would fundamentally alter the content. The other option would be to consider fundraising tactics. Vyverman hopes to take neither road.

“Focusing more on fundraising would not be something that I would welcome. It would fundamentally change who we are. We will cross that bridge if we have to, but for now, we are looking to deal with the hand we’ve been dealt,” he said.

Beyond the implications the new copyright laws may have on the university’s radio station, the new laws ultimately are a burden to those seeking content that cannot be found elsewhere.

Internet radio has offered listeners some salvation from commercial radio. Niche formats have been able to find small, active communities online where artists can continue to receive airplay and reach fans.

Veteran Chicago program director and DJ Rick O’Dell operated an Internet-based smooth jazz radio station for three years after the format was left without a home on Chicago radio. O’Dell filled the void for listeners until shutting the station down on Jan. 1, when the increased rates went into effect.

But it is not so much an “us” versus “them” mentality between broadcasters and artists.

“The law isn’t counterproductive, because artists deserve compensation,” O’Dell said. “Internet broadcasters who were running their businesses as a serious, legitimate enterprise appreciate that artists deserve to be paid.”

“In many ways I preferred to see those dollars go into an artist’s pocket as opposed to a faceless corporation.  The new royalty increases weren’t equitably applied.  That’s the problem I have with it, not the fact that I have to pay royalties in the first place,” said O’Dell.

Unfortunately, it can be a double-edged sword. Artists can only receive royalties if someone is listening to their music via an online station. An online station can only operate and play the music if it can afford to.

It is in the Internet broadcasters’ best interests to no longer do it alone. Instead of operating as independent entities, some organization on the part of Internet stations could go a long way in influencing future changes.

“If Internet broadcasters had been better organized, we at least could have had a seat at the table,” O’Dell said. “As it was, we weren’t represented at all.  That’s not the fault of the FCC or CRB.  That’s our fault.  You can’t influence the results of the game if you’re not in the game.”

Without representation or organization, the Internet radio industry will continue to have to abide by laws in which they had no say in crafting.

For stations like Radio DePaul, there is some hope that other educational based outlets could join forces.

“Thankfully we have the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System on our side. They are fighting the good fight for us and I hope that they will continue to appeal and argue on behalf of all college stations, especially the streaming-only stations,” Vyverman said.

Otherwise, voices and content lacking representation on traditional radio risk being silenced by the new payment

Live365 Done Month End
Group logo for ProductionProduction 1 year, 1 month ago 1 post

rumored that the service is being forced into early retirement because of new royalty rates that digital radio producers now need to adhere to. Late in 2015, the Copyright Royalty Board handed down its decision about what internet radio services will need to pay per stream, and it apparently hurt Live365 so much that it can no longer afford for the rights to play music. Companies like Pandoralobbied hard for the court to lower royalty rates for the next five years, and while certain kinds of streams will cost internet radio stations and services less, it willcost platforms more overall to continue to play music. This may not be the only reason why Live365 is going out of business, but it appears to have been a factor.

Live365 launched in the summer of 1999 and was immediately a success. Nothing quite like it had ever been tried online on such a scale, and people around the world reacted positively. The company allowed the average, everyday music fan to become a DJ, turning everyone into a potential influencer.

Forbes