It’s All About the Benjamins, Baby

Remember when a bunch of us music bloggers decided to boycott the RIAA? Well, now it’s Internet radio’s turn.  But this time it’s just a one-day thing to protest new royalty rates imposed by the CRB (Copyright Royalty Board) on Internet streams (i.e., Internet radio).  

The old way of paying the piper was based on a percentage of profits a station generated.  Now?  You gotta pay each time you hit “play.” Some are saying that it will increase the costs as much as 300%!  That’s pretty much says “Going out of business” for Internet stations.

But it gets better!

This also spills over to traditional radio as well.  Like the radio stations I work for, most radio stations offer their listeners streaming audio through their websites.  Well, now that the CRB is basically saying “Pay up each time you play it” you might see the “Listen Live” feature on station websites go away. 

This isn’t a done deal, though. Seems some folks in Congress are trying to push a bill that will increase royalty rates on a smaller scale.  It’s called H.R. 2060, and there’s a Senate bill that’s pretty much identical to the House bill in the pipeline as well. 

I’m not savvy to the ins and outs of recording contracts artists make with record labels.  However, I do know that the amount most artists make on a record is pretty small. It’s not clear that the new CRB rates will dramatically increase the amount artists makes on their work, but it’s pretty likely it will increase the amount record companies make. 


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