As various collection societies have been getting more desperate to collect more and more fees, a favorite move is to focus in on sky high internet "streaming" rates. In the US, webcasting rates are many, many times higher than the royalties that radio has to pay. It's why there still remain many questions about whether or not webcasting is a viable business, even for giants like Pandora. It's particularly ridiculous when it comes to radio stations who choose to "simulcast" their stations online. Thankfully, down in Australia, there was a ruling that made some sense, saying that radio stations shouldn't have to pay much higher internet rates
just to rebroadcast their radio stream online. But what's really telling is the response from the local collection society, PPCA, who wanted to collect all that money:
"We are disappointed by this ruling on a technical point relating to internet streaming but will continue to work hard for a better deal for artists and labels," comments PPCA CEO Dan Rosen.
"Australia remains out of step with other jurisdictions such as the U.K., Canada and New Zealand where radio operators pay significantly higher license fees."
Perhaps the question should be whether or not it's right that those other jurisdictions make radio stations pay so much more for promoting artists? Given the history of payola, where the record labels have shown -- empirically -- that they get tremendous value out of having their artists played on the air and are willing to pay for it... it seems pretty silly to then demand that the radio stations turn around and pay "higher fees" back.