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View Full Version : No More SMALL Webcasters in 2016?



SmoothJazz
01-28-2015, 01:53 PM
I am shocked that the forums are not in an uproar over what is going to happen to US small web casters in 2016. I am guessing most are just not aware that the blanket licensing folks like StreamLicensing will no longer be able to offer royalty coverage under the Small PurePlay agreements

Marvin at StreamLicensing posted this:


Unfortunately in 2015, Small PurePlay agreements (SoundExchange) are no more. Small PurePlay allowed a cap of 10 million ATH per month which is just about what StreamLicensing Affiliates are running right now.

Since Small PurePlay goes away on January, 2015 1 I am left with no choice but reduce my Affiliates ATH to the 5 million ATH monthly cap available under the Small Webcaster's agreement. This means I must lose roughly 1/2 the ATH my Affiliates use by January 1. I've invested quite a bit of money with my attorney exploring the best way forward and the end result is not what I had hoped. Yet, I think the answer we've found is far better then no solution.

Our new resource partner http://www.ProNetLicensing.Com will provide blanket licensing for those we can no longer service here. http://www.ProNetLicensing.Com will be renting StreamLicensing software and utilizing our support team so the experience there will be somewhat similar to what you have here.

Looking ahead to 2016:

The problem is in 2016 all legal proposals by the copyright board so far have NO provision for Small Pureplay or for Small Webcasters. This leaves us as very small broadcasters, at just about an impossible royalty fee under the other SoundExchange agreements. I think we can change this and have some action ideas I'll be sharing asking your help on starting in mid-January.

Further information was posted by Marvin from a Facebook post he found:


The following was posted on a recent Facebook page. It has some redundant information but may add some points not already covered.

Let me give you a little bit of history as I understand it and please excuse the length of this post. If you don't have time to read the entire post please read the last paragraph because it impacts your future in 2016.

Here in the U.S. SoundExchange administers the fees paid to artists for the plays they receive on Internet Radio. SoundExchange doesn't make their rules and policies, they simply administer the laws passed by the lawmakers and policy makers in this great country. Most of their fee structure charges a small fraction per EACH listener who tunes into EACH song (performance-based fee.) If you work the math, even 25 listeners listening to 10 songs per hour times 24 x 7 x 30 x .0008, or whatever is the correct fee, adds up in a hurry.

However, several pioneers in this business (folks like Loudcity and Spacial Audio and many others I'm sure) worked with the lawmakers to get the Micro, and Small Webcasters and Small PurePlay agreements in place. These allow smaller broadcasters to operate under a revenue based fee rather than a per performance based fee. This fee structure has made it possible for smaller broadcasters to afford to broadcast.

Now looking to 2015. StreamLicensing operated under the Small PurePlay agreement in 2014 which allowed us a maximum of 10 million ATH per month. We were running right up against 10 million. The Small PurePlay agreement expires at midnight December 31, 2014. My attorney and I have exhausted all means to find a way around this problem. No way exists. The only thing left for StreamLicensing is to operate under the Small Webcaster's Agreement which has a monthly maximum cap of 5 million ATH. So clearly the choices I had were a) to dump 5 million ATH by turning my largest Affiliates out into the cold or b) to make arrangements with another company to take those I MUST lose so all still have an affordable home. Neither choice is one I would voluntarily choose. I've chose choice b.

PRONETLicensing is not owned by me and legally can't be. It is a totally separate entity operated by Kathy Allen. PRONETLicensing is renting my StreamLicensing software and our support team has an agreement to provide technical support to PRONETLicensing clients. So, while I have no control over business decisions, policies or such there, your technical experience will be about the same as you experience at StreamLicensing. At this point, after the dust settles on January 1, both StreamLicensing and PRONETLicensing should have plenty of room for SMALLER accounts needing blanket royalty coverage.

Now for 2016. This is where we all face a common problem. My attorney informs me that none of the (SoundExchange) proposed agreements have any provision for smaller broadcasters (i.e. nothing similar to Micro, Small or Small Pureplay.) This means that the fees we face in 2016 will be performance based (number of listeners per song X .0008 or whatever multiplier is agreed,) I hope we can all unite to change this and essentially save Internet Radio for Small Webcasters. More in a couple of weeks when I catch up from the changes that must be made for 2015. Thanks for taking time to read this, and to you who have been or are StreamLicensing Affiliates, a special thanks for your support and trust over the years.

I am particularly concerned about the performances model replacing the revenue model for licensing. Specifically my station, for example, last year I calculate 8-9 Million plus performances. Using the formula mention above we would owe SoundExchange close to $7,000 alone, this doesn't include BMI, SESAC and ASCAP all of which our current licensing is only a little over $100 per month for complete coverage of all the PRO's.

Does this mean the end to small web casters?

Where is the out cry from US broadcasters what do you plan on doing to operate legally in 2016?

Does anyone know of an initiative to write the US law makers to save small web casters?

What are your plans for 2016?

saint
01-29-2015, 04:58 AM
The music industry is bound and determined to extract its fair share of blood from everyone it seems.

SlamminTunes
01-29-2015, 02:06 PM
Saint, what exactly is their "fair" share?

Its really frustrating because I pay 100% of the operating costs out of pocket and they want to make it just that much harder to exist legally. Pirate radio? Raising rates will just force more to go the route of being a pirate radio station instead of a legal law abiding station. It really is a damn shame.

saint
01-29-2015, 04:56 PM
I was saying that in sarcasm, sorry. The record industry mafia are going to lobby, scream and threaten until they get their way - it's all about the money. The sad part about that is with all the money the record mafia collect, they still don't give the artists an equitable share.

Magnatune is a independent label that charges a flat rate per month for royalty fees and gives the artists they represent 50% of the royalties. If Magnatune can do that - I do believe the other record labels could do that as well. But as previously stated - greed and power tends to corrupt common sense and intelligence.

SlamminTunes
01-29-2015, 05:28 PM
Saint, I wasn't calling you out. I was just posing the question based on your previous post. It really is a giant greed machine and the artists typically don't get their fair cut of the royalties paid. Again, its a damn shame.

wtiadmiller
02-01-2015, 11:12 PM
They are just closing the door on small web stations like ours who do the right thing and make sure that we get royalty coverage for the music which we play.

SmoothJazz
02-10-2015, 03:29 PM
They are just closing the door on small web stations like ours who do the right thing and make sure that we get royalty coverage for the music which we play.
Sounds like you are OK with paying on a performance based model vs a revenue model that is currrently in place. Believe me you DO NOT want a performance based model.

Royalty coverage is great only if it remains affordable and does not drive small webcasters out of the industry or to force them into illegal broadcasting.

Brutish Sailor
02-18-2015, 01:55 PM
Sounds like you are OK with paying on a performance based model vs a revenue model that is currrently in place. Believe me you DO NOT want a performance based model.

Royalty coverage is great only if it remains affordable and does not drive small webcasters out of the industry or to force them into illegal broadcasting.

This was so wierd.

I got this bug to VPN to BW, because for what ever reason, the country of BH has a block on the site, and wont remove it despite my multiple messages requesting reason.

This has awakened a sleeping giant in me, and I feel an urgancy. I must take a moment, and calm myself, and consider some words, before I blast my mouth off on this topic. Not only have I been over here reviewing what I think is going to be saints greatest masterpiece for a book, but I have been considering a "what if" for this exact sinareo.

Who we really should be addressing/watching the actions of for this is:

Radionomy: This will mess with their bread and butter of revinue invested. What is their stance.

.... and of course, Live 365/ all other licensing groups.


I would figure Marvin would be grandfathered in vice submitting to the pureplay act? But I am speaking prematurely while not doing my homework.

Oh, and I miss you guys like crazy. Warzone sucks.

voodoohippie
03-07-2015, 05:14 PM
I hope I don't have to do this but I have put too much work into my station to give it up. I'm researching countries that have NO copyright enforcement and then rent a Shoutcast V1.9x (Not v2) or Icecast V2 server there. Or go with Streamerp2p, a VPN and broadcast there as its next to impossible to track any broadcaster as it uses p2p technology to relay your signal from one to another. I'd also advise all my listeners to use an outside of the USA VPN and post vpn providers on my website which too will be routed outside the USA. Plus I'll get a part 15 FM Transmitter like the Sansonic AX-05B or Whole House FM Transmitter and broadcast my station to a 1/4 mile radios and get my listeners to buy part 15 transmitters to help unblock real music lovers from the shackles of Top40 and Rap. The RIAA wants Pirate Radio, they'll get it and in mass quantities. I feel that those who have supported The Legacy legacy has entertained the RIAA's greed long enough now its time to fight to survive. Stations like mine play far more than the Taylor Swift and M&M dribble and reach to indie artists and older artists to be re discovered. Hate me, Love me its what it is and I use to be a transmitter Pirate yrs ago with my 3 mile Ramsey FM transmitter connected to a police scanner antenna and got plenty of listeners who loved Prog Rock, Classic Rock till the day the transmitter stopped functioning. I never bought another transmitter for Internet Radio was the new way.

All that being said I hope Djc Media will fight as they have already done a lot for Internet Radio and that is why I use them as a stream host. I know Wess and Marvin are scheming ways to still broadcast legally and affordable. But we can use all the help we can get to fight the evils of being shackled to Top40 and Rap world wide. If you hate Rap as much as I do you should be fighting to keep real music alive on the Internet.

brandon_g
03-29-2015, 07:54 PM
Honestly, I have run a home owned station for years with a minium budget of 20 to 30 dollars year, yeah I know very cheap, but I have been running it with nothing more then a laptop, cheap microphone and stereo mix for years. I have used combinations of Spotify, Youtube, CD'S and a few mp3 and a few donated Sam Broadcaster Softwares for years. If they tried to make someone pay to play music that is offered to public to softwares on a streaming platform I pay nothing to use, damn I would go pirate in a second.

You know the music industry is one of the only ones to still be trying to tighten copyright and laws around. The movie industry finally realized that if people want it, they will find a way to get it, so they finally evolved and used the web to their advantage, they came up with a way to legally allow people to download movies to their devices. The movie industry is making tons of money this way, they got smart. Yet the music industry still wants to keep making laws tighter and tighter. When will they ever smarten up like the movie industry?

musemedia
11-15-2015, 09:53 PM
I'm sorry nut I must say all this is happening due to the lack of Internet Stations pulling together as one large organization such as NAB and IAB. It seems everyone wants to complain about it but nobody will group and work together. This has been preached for 3 years by Wes at DJC Media. Maybe it's time for all of us to group together for the greater good?

mjordan
11-24-2015, 01:11 AM
If something like that was started, I would love to lend any help I could.

musemedia
11-26-2015, 01:12 PM
If something like that was started, I would love to lend any help I could.

PM me and I will make sure i send you some information in the near future. Our Media Group has been discussing the organization of digital broadcasters to approach record labels directly.

saint
11-26-2015, 09:31 PM
Dean drop me a line also with the information please good sir :)

CyberFM
12-04-2015, 03:16 PM
I'm sorry nut I must say all this is happening due to the lack of Internet Stations pulling together as one large organization such as NAB and IAB. It seems everyone wants to complain about it but nobody will group and work together. This has been preached for 3 years by Wes at DJC Media. Maybe it's time for all of us to group together for the greater good?

Where do we sign?

I've been in talks with some close relationships we have with older Artists.. I won't name names, but important Artists... they have the understanding that they appreciate the small payments they receive as their music gets older and less relevant... we've been asked if we would continue supporting them, and unfortunately, I think that would change.

Our Indie non PRO Artists to Mainstream Artists ratio is going to increase, therefore, less plays for PRO oriented Artists... Only the new Artists like Taylor Swift and the like justify the new rates and changes.

saint
12-04-2015, 04:28 PM
Regardless of what any individual artists may say, if they are a signatory of any record label agreement that is prospered under the RIAA umbrella - you are bound by law to pay whatever rate that is mandated by RIAA.

RIAA see's no difference between new or old music, money is money. The incredibly sad part about RIAA - for all the money that they generate - very little goes to the actual artist. The bulk of the money is used for political lobbying efforts and "education" - not to mention the bloated salaries of the RIAA executives.

saint
12-04-2015, 04:31 PM
Also, unless you have a direct agreement with an artist, or use creative commons - public domain music - by law - you are bound to submit royalty payment information to RIAA. They cleverly covered that loop hole.

Most people assume that the use of unsigned artists are not covered by RIAA royalty agreements. This is wrong.

mjordan
12-08-2015, 02:25 AM
I choose to look at the positives, as we grow in the fight for our self-preservation. For stations like mine, this would be a good time to focus less on the music and more on shows. Bring out some new, talented faces. Who knows, maybe we'll end up moving to a 24/7 talk format. All while fighting to keep ourselves in business, and save up money to afford the new royalty rates.

CyberFM
12-18-2015, 03:26 PM
Also, unless you have a direct agreement with an artist, or use creative commons - public domain music - by law - you are bound to submit royalty payment information to RIAA. They cleverly covered that loop hole.

Most people assume that the use of unsigned artists are not covered by RIAA royalty agreements. This is wrong.

I think you're unfamiliar with CyberFM, but that's ok obviously. Yes we create direct, private, binding contracts with Indie Artists.

Cyber-FM will cease playing mainstream artists and support only the artists we have a direct relationship with. I'm glad that SoundExchange see's that for what it's worth. We carry a 50/50 ratio of Licensed vs Indie... I have NO problem moving that to 100%

"We believe the rates set by the CRB do not reflect a market price for music and will erode the value of music in our economy," a company rep said in a statement. "We will review the decision closely and consider all of our options." --SoundExchange

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/performance-royalty-rates-increase-for-online-radio-20151217

mjordan
12-28-2015, 11:53 AM
I got my e-mail from Marvin today. Good news/Bad news, I guess. Bad news: it's now about 40 a month, but that's also the good news, I was fully expecting to pay north of 50 a month. We still have decisions to make, though.

saint
12-28-2015, 03:52 PM
Unfortunately, RIAA has stated that they are reviewing other options to achieve the "desired" rate increases they want. The CRB royalty rate increase is nothing like what RIAA wanted. RIAA wants its full "fair share".

mjordan
12-29-2015, 08:47 AM
This is true, Saint. We aren't out of the woods yet. I just hope this isn't a ploy to bully people to that service Jay Z owns.

RDJUser
12-29-2015, 12:37 PM
I'm genuinely surprised these forums aren't lit up with people asking what's going on.

I'm hearing the proposed 20% rise in fees could see some stations forced offline altogether.

It could also force a lot of people to go pirate too. Mind Pirate stations on the internet are nothing new.

I'm still of the ethos that if Artists paid the TAXES they owe then maybe I'd be all for royalties!

Q: Is the future of streaming on the internet only for the rich?

mjordan
12-29-2015, 04:31 PM
I'm genuinely surprised these forums aren't lit up with people asking what's going on.

This is the downside of people not informing themselves, and being ostriches. The media has us dumbed down so much.

shoutcaststreaming
12-30-2015, 01:08 AM
Unlike the past rises, this one wasn't heavily advertised. And everyone was kept in the dark. Hard to argue something when the facts aren't known.

riverregionmedia
12-31-2015, 08:03 AM
Hey Guys,

I haven't participated in this forum very much in 2015, but i wanted to pop in here and also say that while i'm glad the fees are not higher than $50 a month for coverage under streamlicening, it is making me consider moving my brand and station to more of a Talk based format.

Currently my top 40 station, The Pulse (http://thepulsemontgomery.com) has been gaining listeners local and around the world. I program my station complete with ID's to keep it locally focused towards my town, but a majority of my listeners come from all over the globe thanks to Tunein.com

I'm both happy and unhappy of my rates going from $23 to $40 a month as i operate my station on a shoe string budget.

RDJUser
12-31-2015, 10:26 AM
Whoops there goes Live 365 http://rainnews.com/live365-suffers-a-collision-of-misfortune-lays-off-most-employees-and-vacates-office/

Brutish Sailor
01-01-2016, 11:03 PM
I was just heading in to blog about this. fight aint over yet.

RDJUser
01-07-2016, 08:07 AM
http://www.radiosurvivor.com/2016/01/05/why-american-independent-internet-radio-may-go-extinct-in-2016/

2prfm.com
01-25-2016, 09:54 AM
Hope it is okay to mention this here, I am the publisher of http://www.savenetradio.info, and am happy to publish any links or resources people wish to put forward. I currently have John Michaels from BullsEye Radio's petition, and to what I'm aware, it seems to have quite a few thousand signatures. I'll also be adding some links that Marvin has shared, including the radio diversity website, and I'm also waiting a reply from Dave Solomon regarding some PSAs. Hopefully with pulling together our resources that we can make some waves, and make a difference.