Tuesday, March 6, 2007

New RIAA Licensing Regulations Hit Close to Home

With the recently announced overhaul in internet audio licensing, the RIAA is creating a big problem for radio stations across the country. However, it is creating an even bigger problem for radio stations that are either internet only or have a greater listening audience online as compared with their over-the-air or terrestrial listeners. LA Observed reports on Santa Monica based KCRW and the problems that they will face with the new licensing scheme.
A senior staffer at KCRW tells LA Observed, "Everyone is stunned by the decision. The determination to charge per song/per listener would effectively shut us down, as well as most other music sites. We estimate it could cost us anywhere from $1 to $5 million to keep going."
However, it is not just public radio stations that will feel the pinch. How many other radio stations have an extra $1 to $5 million dollars in their budget that they can instantly reallocate so that they can pay the RIAA even more?

How will radio stations comply with these new policies? It seems that most radio stations will have to overhaul their entire work flow so that their streaming servers are directly connected to a database which interfaces with the play list. What if a listener signs on for the end third of one song and closes their player during the middle of the next song. How much will the station own the RIAA.

It seems that the RIAA is just compensating for their lack of revenue due to poor music by making it difficult if not impossible to stream their shows over the internet.

LA Observed