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RAIN 3/16: Philly's B101 shuts down streams following NAB/SX deal

Posted on: 03/16/2009

JERRY LEE SEES NO HOPE FOR PLATFORM UNDER WITH CURRENT RATE STRUCTURE

WBEB (B101)/Philadelphia pulled its online simulcast radio streams Sunday because of SoundExchange’s royalty deal with the NAB. WBEB owner Jerry Lee said he believes its simply “not a viable business option” for an AC station to stream online. Additionally, said Lee, “the rates will probably just keep going up…the industry has absolutely no bargaining leverage in setting rates…the excessive rates don’t work for artists, for local stations, or for listeners.” By 2015, Lee predicted, SoundExchange would be collecting half of revenues generated by streaming.

COULD B101’s MOVE CHANGE THE VIEWS OF OTHER BROADCASTERS, SX, CONGRESS?

In his coverage of WBEB’s streaming move, Tom Taylor presents the question, “Will other groups follow B101? And will that shake up SoundExchange?” Jerry Del Colliano agrees, writing (here), “If a couple of major groups decided to follow Lee’s initiative, SoundExchange (the record industry’s negotiating group) would have to return to the table.” Equating SoundExchange with radio’s, artists’ and labels’ “Dr. Kevorkian,” Del Colliano believes it’s “time to step up and draw a line on these ridiculous royalty rate demands from the record labels.”

Mark Ramsey isn’t so optimistic. He writes, “In the long run, the challenge for radio is to negotiate with the labels effectively and to monetize our content creatively, leveraging all the accumulated wisdom and technology and skill at our disposal to make our industry better off, even in the face of higher royalties…I wouldn’t be surprised at all if streaming was live again within the next 30 days.” He lays the blame on broadcasters for their predicament: “Our general lack of support at that time helped to create a precedent whose consequences we are paying for today and tomorrow,” he writes (here).

This exact topic is the subject of RAIN‘s publisher Kurt Hanson’s brand new blog entry, right here.

PANDORA PARTNERS WITH VUDU SET-TOP BOX

Pandora has incorporated its services into Vudu set-top boxes. Similar to other set-top boxes, Vudu streams content, such as movies, YouTube videos and now Pandora channels, from a wireless network to the user’s television. For more, read Digital Music News’ coverage here.

CC’S I HEART RADIO iPHONE APP HITS 1 MIL DOWNLOADS

Clear Channel Radio announced today that its iPhone application iheartradio has been downloaded 1 million times. Possibly even more impressive, the company reports online and mobile audience for iheartradio is increasing the total audience by 15%. Additionally, iheartradio is now available as a Blackberry application as well. For more info, check out R&R’s coverage here.



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