In this third month of 2007, you have to wonder how many more hurdles radio operators will continue to face. The recent announcement that royalty rates are skyrocketing, thanks to the short-sightedness and greed of the Copyright Royalty Board not only threatens radio's revenue opportunity, but its future on the Internet, cell phones, and other new technologies (such as WiMax in vehicles).
Jacobs Media Tech Polls have continued to underscore Internet radio's growth and popularity among radio audiences. The newest study - just wrapped up earlier this month - continues to affirm the strides that radio has made online. Now the CRB's move puts all of this in jeopardy, at a time when many radio operators are struggling just to stay even.
Kurt Hanson has initiated a web campaign - www.savethestreams.org. Yes, Kurt has a dog in this hunt. His AccuRadio stands to be wiped out because of these cost increases. But every radio broadcaster shares Kurt's plight, making his call to action very compelling.
It is noteworthy that most broadcasters have struggled to develop content to run inside commercial stopsets during streams. Well, now you have a message to send to members of Congress. Use this valuable time to send a message to your online audience. There's an example of language from SaveTheStreams.org that would be easily convertible to promo form:
As your constituent and a fan of Internet radio, I was alarmed to learn that music royalty rates were recently determined by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) which, if enacted, would certainly silence most or all of my favorite online listening services. For most webcasters, this royalty rate represents more than 100% of their total revenues!
The shuttering of the webcasting industry would be a loss for not only independent business owners, but also for musical artists, for copyright owners, and for listeners like me who enjoy the wide variety of choices available via Internet radio.
I respectfully request that your office look into this matter and initiate action to prevent it. As the CRB rate decision is retroactive to January 1, 2006, please understand that time is of the essence - as the immediate impact of this decision could silence many Internet radio stations forever.
There are also has some rational suggestions for arrousing your audience - and your company - from another site focused on the issue, www.saveourinternetradio.com:
Mad as hell about the threat to Internet Radio? Do Something!
1. Sign this online petition and open letter to the US Congress.
2. Send an email to your members of Congress. You can use our suggested text, or write your own.
3. Print out the email (you’ll get a copy) and mail it to your Congresspeople. Follow up with a phone call. You can look up their addresses and phone numbers here.
4. Write a letter to the editor of your favorite magazines and newspapers. If you know someone in the media, let them know what’s going on. Have them read my post below, if you like.
5. Don’t panic. Together we can save the medium that we all love. We have the passion to make it happen!
We realize that the challenges radio broadcasters are facing are immense - and seemingly, neverending. But Internet radio is one of the new media avenues that terrestrial radio stations have been able to easily and successfully access. It is indeed the pathway to reaching listeners in the future, but only if it is financially possible to do so. It's time to send a message.