Monday, October 5, 2009

You have to pay them to play their stuff?

SomaFM listener Robert hits the radio royalty thing on the head:
Beginning with iTunes and through that my intro to your excellent station, I was not listening to music at all. For me was impossible to listen too on a lot of levels. So you introduced me to electronica, remix jazz and the like. Well now I am looking at my purchased iTunes library with  1700 + songs. I was thinking; "You have to pay them to play their stuff?", they should be paying you for bringing them customers like me , where else am I or anybody else going to hear this. Personally I like listening to music again, Thank You!
Most of the indie artists we play feel this way, and many of the independent labels feel this way too. For the most part, it's the big labels with lots of back-catalog that don't see the value in radio play.

If the royalties we pay were much lower (in line with what is proposed for terrestrial radio), this wouldn't be a big issue. But considering that SoundExchange is now pushing for higher and higher rates, there isn't much hope of our getting a royalty rate on par with what the terrestrial guys will likely get.

Looks like our ultimate solution will be directly licensing tracks from artists and indie labels, and play less and less music from the big labels. (We already play less than 20% of our music from big labels, so that won't be too hard.)

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Blogger Guy Rittger said...

The reasoning behind the tiered royalty rate is that terrestrial stations require costly licenses, are typically more expensive to operate and - most importantly - are increasingly owned by a small number of corporations who also - wait for it - increasingly own the content that generates royalties. Thus, we have a simple case of restricting competition in the market via monopolization of distribution and punitive legislation. If independent Internet broadcasters had the financial clout to purchase their own "elected representatives", like the corporate monopolists, things would be different. Fortunately, the more the monopolists monopolize, the less music lovers listen to the crap they broadcast. Personally, I only listen to and support music on the Internet coming from independents like SOMAFM and Paradise Radio. I have no use whatsoever for corporate broadcasting - terrestrial or Internet.

January 9, 2010 8:23 AM  

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