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RAIN 3/27: CommLawBlog offers broadcasters guide to streaming royalty deal

Posted on: 03/27/2009


To help wade through dense legal language and hopefully dispel some confusion, CommLawBlog has put together a step-by-step guide for broadcasters concerning streaming royalties.

“The most common refrains we hear are: ‘What does this mean for me?’ and, from the more practical-minded, ‘What do I have to do?’ These are by no means dumb questions, since the new agreements – and especially the SoundExchange/NAB deal – create multiple subcategories of webcasters, each with slightly different benefits and responsibilities,” Kevin Goldberg writes at the blog. Find the guide here. Triton Media has put together their own “streaming costs calculator” for broadcasters as well (RAIN coverage here).

Broadcasters have until April 2 (next Thursday) to notify SoundExchange of their acceptance of the royalty deal (RAIN coverage here). Additional breakdowns of the deal can be found from attorneys David Oxenford (here) and Gregg Skall (here)


WiMax, a 4G (fourth-generation) cellular network that delivers Internet services (like net radio) at faster speeds than current 3G (third-gen) networks, could see expansive roll-out this year. The system will be deployed by Clearwire and Sprint Nextel (the latter a majority owner of Clearwire) in Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Philadelphia among “dozens” of other metro areas during 2009, according to Ars Technica (here). Boston, Houston, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area are scheduled for 2010. WiMax can already be found in Baltimore and Portland.

Long Term Evolution (LTE), a rival 4G network, is concurrently being developed by GSM carriers but may not see roll-outs until 2010. LTE beats WiMax in speed, delivering an average performance of 5 to 10Mbps compared to WiMax’s 2 to 4Mbps. When it comes down to it though, “two technologies aren’t that far apart in the details, and there’s been a fair amount of talk about an eventual convergence.” This all means that high-speed Internet access will be available, for WiMax/LTE-enabled devices, wherever you roam in covered areas.


MacWorld has reviewed some Internet radio iPhone applications that don’t get as much attention as their Pandora and Last.fm big brothers. Reviewer Jeffery Battersby found Radio Paradise to be “a slick little app,” while any iTunes user will “be perfectly at home with Tuner Internet Radio,” though the station selection disappointed.

College Radio Tuner, which streams university stations, “suffers from an abysmal user interface“ but “has the potential to be an excellent app.” Battersby also reviewed Slacker, and while he had some complaints about the programming found the app and sound quality “excellent.” Read his full reviews here.


Some Sirius XM subscribers are fuming thanks to problems with the satellite broadcaster’s online streams. Subscribers report to the Consumerist that the streams simply aren’t working for them (here). Listeners are particularly upset because they are now paying $3 a month for the online stream. Lifetime subscriber Scott Greczkowski suffers from a different ailment, as he explains in a blog post (here). He found himself stuck with “the crappy 32k stream“ instead of the promised higher quality 128k stream.

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