Internet radio broadcasters face the alarming prospect of paying much higher royalties to song performers, says the Wall Street Journal, a burden that could silence some online stations.
This looks a possibility if you’re an internet station in the US as it relates to a decision by the Copyright Royalty Board (what the Journal calls an “obscure federal agency”) to set sound-recording royalty rates for online radio stations in that country.
Without meaning to belittle the genuine concerns of those internet broadcasters – many of whom may well be forced out of business – I think this presents huge opportunities for anyone (including an internet radio station) to set up as a podcaster. Podcasts are not effected by this US ruling.
Todd Cochrane has the pragmatic view:
[...] a lot of Podcasters are looking at the decision as an opportunity to pick up significant listenership as a huge number of webcasters are forced out of business.
[...] listeners are going to be on the hunt for content. The question that has to be asked is how do we convert that masses of people that will no longer be able to listen to webcasts.