Today Is The Day Of Internet Radio Silence

Just a reminder to those of you who are following the great internet radio crisis, today is the day of Internet Radio Silence. Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora.com, writes:

Ignoring all rationality and responding only to the lobbying of the RIAA, an arbitration committee in Washington DC has drastically increased the licensing fees Internet radio sites must pay to stream songs. Pandora’s fees will triple, and are retroactive for eighteen months! Left unchanged by Congress, every day will be like today as internet radio sites start shutting down and the music dies.

A bill called the “Internet Radio Equality Act” has already been introduced in both the Senate (S. 1353) and House of Representatives (H.R. 2060) to fix the problem and save Internet radio–and Pandora–from obliteration.

I’d like to ask you to call your Congressional representatives today and ask them to become co-sponsors of the bill. It will only take a few minutes and you can find your Congresspersons and their phone numbers by entering your zip code here.

Your opinion matters to your representatives – so please take just a minute to call.

Pandora

Comments

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  1. ACruzer says:

    They’re not listening to their constituents… they’re listening to the RIAA.. already called my reps

  2. Namilia says:

    They were singing “Pie, pie, miss american pie, drove my chevy to the levy but the levy was dry; them good ol’ boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye sayin ‘this’ll be the day that i die…this’ll be the day that i die…’”

    Damn the RIAA.

  3. amsmith.dmycm says:

    If only it did seem to matter to them. I called both of my Senators this morning and one was indifferent, just wanting to double-check my zip code to ensure I was a resident, and the other one is “still considering what position to take” with less than a month to go before the new fee schedule kicks in!
    Ah well-at least I gave it my all.

  4. Art Vandelay says:

    @ACruzer: It’s “Bye, Bye…” if I’m not mistaken.

    This sucks. Considering the music industry is about to be overtaken by the gaming industry, you think they’d do everything in their power to keep music listeners around. How anyone in the music industry views internet radio as a bad thing or needing to pay more, I don’t know. Pandora exposed me to music I would never find, causing me to start buying music again. Needless to say, I will only buy cds at shows from here on out if RIAA goes through with the rate hike.

  5. pestie says:

    Eh. I didn’t listen to internet radio anyway.

  6. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    “Your opinion matters to your representatives”

    Um, no. Unless you’re part of the wealthy and privileged class in America, your opinion doesn’t matter.

    Once again, government and big corporations are controlling America.

  7. banned says:

    Heaven forbid musicians get paid!

  8. CreativeLinks says:

    @rocnrule: The price increase will actually have an adverse effect on Musicians “being paid”.

    Would you rather have 1000 internet stations broadcasting your song once a day at 5 cents a stream.

    Or a handful of of stations broadcasting your song at a dollar a stream.

    Those stations that can afford the higher rates will need to play much more commercial songs to attract advertisers.

    So, if you are a musician who isn’t attached to a major label, you probably should support lower rates.

  9. ronaldscott says:

    @Namilia: Pie, pie? Seriously?

  10. ronaldscott says:

    @rocnrule: You HAVE to be a troll. Nobody is that dumb in real life.

  11. timmus says:

    Why can’t music be streamed out of a foreign server? A streaming web server doesn’t know what country it’s in.

  12. l951b951 says:

    I wrote to my Rep and got a canned response that explained the process and that he was not going to introduce legislation to save internet radio, but that he would investigate any legislation that came up. Thanks Saxby!

  13. Art Vandelay says:

    @timmus: It’s based on where the listener is. See: Pandora not being able to negotiate rates and having to cut service and block ips from most of the world.

  14. swalve says:

    I did the math, and the new rates would be $0.017 per listener per hour. That is perfectly reasonable. These websites are using music to make money, they should pay for that privilege.

    What do real radio stations pay? I bet it’s more than that…

  15. banderlin says:

    I’m all for telling Congress to reject the legislation. However, this day of radio silence kinda angered me. I’m a PAYING customer of Yahoo Launchcast. For most of the day, the site was up and running. I took a two hour study break, tried to turn it back on at 6pm, and (poof), Launchcast hopped on the radio silence bandwagon. For free internet radio stations, I completely understand the solidarity. For paid sites, they had no business shutting down paying customers.

  16. banderlin says:

    @banderlin: Uh, let me rephrase: I’m all for telling Congress to take a look at the legislation…

  17. Shaggy says:

    @swalve: $0.017 per listener is reasonable? If it’s so reasonable, then why don’t they change the royalty rate for terrestrial (normal) radio to match? I’ll tell you why: it would put just about every radio station in the country out of business. (here’s a little more info about that)

    This isn’t about trying to make money, or making sure that the artists and their recording companies get compensated, this is about destroying Internet radio.

  18. cdeath says:

    how did you do that math?

    it’s per song, *per listener*, a $500 a year minimum (per channel).

    1 song, one listenr = $0.0011
    1 song x 100 listeners * $0.0011 = $0.11 per song
    $0.11 x 15 songs in one hour = $1.65 an hour
    $1.65 x 24 hours in a day = $39.60 a day
    $39.60 x 7 days a week = $277.20 a week
    $277.20 x 4 weeks a month = $1,108.80 a month
    $1,108.80 x 12 months a year = $13,305.60 a year for a 100 listener at a time internet station for *just* 2006/2007 rates. this rate of 0.0011 will be 140% higher in a few years.

  19. cdeath says:

    @swalve: I did the math, and the new rates would be $0.017 per listener per hour. That is perfectly reasonable. These websites are using music to make money, they should pay for that privilege.

    What do real radio stations pay? I bet it’s more than that…

    I’ll answer the last first. Terrestrial radio does NOT pay soundexhange costs, only internet radio. so to answer your last question. $0

    your math, it’s all wrong. It per song PER LISTENER.

    Here is the correct math:

    1 song, 1 listener = $0.0011

    1 song x 100 listeners * $0.0011 = $0.11 per song

    $0.11 x 15 songs in one hour = $1.65 an hour

    $1.65 x 24 hours in a day = $39.60 a day

    $39.60 x 7 days a week = $277.20 a week

    $277.20 x 4 weeks a month = $1,108.80 a month

    $1,108.80 x 12 months a year = $13,305.60 a year for a 100 listener at a time internet station for *just* 2006/2007 rates. this rate of 0.0011 will be 140% higher in a few years.

    and this $13,305.60 fee is *just* for soundexhange. it doesn’t not include any fees owed to SESAC, BMI or ASCAP which are completely different identities.

  20. You didn’t factor in the nice little Royalty Service Charge per station…

  21. ZonzoMaster says:

    I got my IP blocked from Pandora =/ (México).

  22. cdeath says:

    @Papa Midnight: You didn’t factor in the nice little Royalty Service Charge per station…

    It is one or the other, it’s not both. so if your station doesn’t accrue at least $500 in royalties then you have to pay the $500, but if you exceed $500 then it’s not another $500 on top of that. but still.

    Perspective:

    Last year Live365 made $1.5 million

    On July 15th Live365 will owe at least, “as little as”, $500 per channel to SoundExchange. Live365 has 10,000 “channels”. (This bill is retroactive from Jan 2006 to now)

    10,000 x “as little as” $500 = $5 Million

    $5 Million > $1.5 Million

  23. synergy says:

    @ZonzoMaster: That’s odd. Why would they block México?

  24. Art Vandelay says:

    @synergy: The founders post on a forum I frequent, and I believe it has to do with negotiating royalties. Last I heard, the countries Pandora served was US, Canada, UK and possibly handful of other countries, but I’m not sure.

  25. Art Vandelay says:

    I should clarify, a founder posts, not founders.

  26. Namilia says:

    @RONALDSCOTT Pie controls all life.

    (Seriously, I haven’t heard the song in so long I forgot XD)

  27. MalichiDemonos says:

    Did any internet radio stations actually do this? I checked winamp stations and all the ones i usually go to were still playing.

  28. mikyrok says:

    @MalichiDemonos: Pandora and Digitally Imported both did i stopped checking beyond that.

  29. cdeath says:

    @MalichiDemonos: Did any internet radio stations actually do this? I checked winamp stations and all the ones i usually go to were still playing.

    If your checking today they will be back online. My station is via live365 and non-paying listerns couldn’t get in.

  30. ZonzoMaster says:

    @Art Vandelay: Apparently they can’t handle accounts outside the US because of the short on money, they even sent me a mail with an apology. And i get automatically blocked even before entering the page. It’s a real shame, i was listening to Pandora for a while now…

  31. Maeg says:

    A friend in Canada let me know the other night that he’s been blocked from Pandora completely, just like Zonzomaster. So it’s not just our neighbor to the south that’s getting screwed.

  32. venterminator says:

    Someone said that free radio probably pays more than that? Umm, no. Free radio pays NOTHING to the RIAA. These fees are exclusive to Internet radio, satellite radio and other music based streams. But I think the RIAA is trying to change that too by billing the already floundering terrestrial radio. That takes congressional approval because I believe there’s a law that says that regular radio cannot be billed to play music because they’re promoting it, or something along those lines. You ever hear the story about the goose that lays golden eggs? Well, the RIAA is trying really hard to choke that goose, drown it, cook it and bury it.