The royalty debate (or debacle) continues to play out in radio circles. Now WBEB's Jerry Lee has become even more involved by canceling his station's stream, saying that "the excessive SoundExchange rates don't work for artists, for local stations, or for listeners."
This is not an empty statement nor is it a cheap attempt to save a little money this quarter. In fact, WBEB is one of only 14 stations whose stream showed up in the December PPMs (the only Philly station, by the way).
Lee estimates that by 2015, half of his online revenue would go to SoundExchange in fees. And as we warned when our "Going for the Gold" campaign started, broadcasters would rather not bother with streaming or music formats if the rates careen out of control.
So once again, the musicFIRST luminaries are going to end up cutting off their best source of music exposure and artist branding. And this time, one of the most prominent radio broadcasters has made a powerful statement.