Why The New Webcasting Rates Are A Death Sentence For Webcasters

from the plainly-ridiculous dept

When the announcement came out this week that webcasters had somehow "come to an agreement" with SoundExchange over webcasts, what was unbelievable was that many presented this as a "victory" for webcasters. Hell, even SoundExchange made public statements about how it was disappointed by the rates, but it was an "experiment." But when you looked at the actual numbers, this made no sense. The rates are ridiculously high when compared to royalty rates for traditional radio or satellite radio. Michael Robertson breaks down the numbers and explains away the myths of this deal. It will almost certainly bankrupt nearly every webcaster out there. Robertson focuses on the big webcasters, and points out that the 25% royalty rate promoted by the press isn't accurate at all, and for a company like Pandora the real rate will be north of 40% of revenue -- which is not even close to sustainable.

Meanwhile, small webcasters don't get much of a break either. Live365 is pointing out that these rates will basically kill off every webcaster it hosts by requiring a $25,000 fee. As the company notes, the guy running the Armenian folk music station for $10/month isn't going to pay $25,000 and certainly isn't going to make enough revenue to pay up.

Make no mistake: these new rates are effectively going to kill off a significant portion of online webcasters. The recording industry, of course, doesn't find this problematic, because they don't like the fact that they can't control webcasters the way they can radio, so they are fine with taxing them out of business. But what a waste of what technology allows. These days, anyone can and should be able to effectively express their own musical views by webcasting what they like. And that's about to become prohibitively expensive for no reason other than that SoundExchange/RIAA have a gov't granted monopoly over any kind of broadcasting.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Vectorius, 13 Jul 2009 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re: A creative commons license just for the RIAA

    That's good advice, though I'd like something stronger, if possible, in which a $10,000,000 fine is stipulated in case SoundExchange or the RIAA attempts to enforce copyright laws on my behalf, rather than the possibility that they might be subject to litigation.

    Specifically, the license I would like should impose a $10,000,000 fine on SoundExchange in case it attempts to collect royalties on my behalf paid by services making ephemeral phonorecords or digital audio transmissions of sound recordings, or both, under the statutory licenses set forth in 17 U.S.C. 112 and 17 U.S.C. 114 or if it attempts to distribute the collected royalties to me pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 114(g)(2).

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.