RAIN 2/15: CBS Radio cuts off streams outside of U.S.
NON-U.S. LISTENERS LOSE NEWS/TALK STREAMS AS WELL AS MUSICCBS Radio has shut down its streams to non-U.S. listeners, Tom Taylor reports today.
While Taylor writes the decision is “driven by the thorny problem of music royalties,” it’s also true that shutting down the streams will save the company bandwidth costs (and the company loses virtually no ad inventory, as U.S. advertisers are largely interested in U.S. audiences only anyway). What’s more, CBS has curtailed all non-U.S. streaming, including that of non-music stations. The company explains (via Taylor), “The issue for the talk-based stations is the CBS/AOL player software – the platform shared by all the CBS Radio terrestrial stations which stream. It’s a problem trying to pull out the stations that don’t play music.”
This means that neither of the U.S.‘s top two most-listened-to Internet radio outlets (as per AndoMedia’s Webcast Metrics), Pandora and CBS Radio, stream outside the U.S. RAIN has not been able to verify if AOL Radio and Yahoo! Music streams, both administered by CBS, have also been turned off outside the U.S. Read Taylor’s coverage here.
PANDORA WILL COME BUILT-IN TO NEW MS MOBILEWith its new mobile operating system, Microsoft-powered mobile phones will resemble the Zune more than ever before, making the phones more of an “iPhone competitor” than ever before. And baked right into all that musical goodness: Pandora Radio.
Microsoft today unveiled “Windows Phone 7,” its new mobile operating system, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Pandora has publicly stated its intention of focusing its energies in the coming year on “the ’80% of the opportunity’ represented outside the browser“ (see RAIN coverage here).
This new design for Microsoft integrates the Zune music player, the Xbox Live gaming service, and social network sites. And apparently, all the new phone models will carry an FM tuner (the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports “AM/FM,” but we couldn’t find this verified anywhere else). Read more here, here, and here.
OXENFORD: STATUTORY LICENSES WILL ALLOW WEBCASTERS TO KEEP WARNER MUSICInternet radio’s leading legal expert, attorney David Oxenford, verifies RAIN‘s hunch (here) that U.S. webcasters will continue to have access to Warner Brothers music, despite recent reports the company may cease making its music available to free ad-supported streaming music services.
“Under (the) statutory license (otherwise known as a ‘compulsory license’),” Oxenford writes in the Broadcast Law Blog, “a copyright holder cannot deny access to companies operating under the license, as long as those companies comply with terms of the license, and pay the established royalty… This decision should have little or no impact on U.S. Internet Radio stations operating under the compulsory license.”
On an earnings call last week, Warner CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. reportedly said, “Free streaming services are clearly not net positive for the industry and as far as Warner Music is concerned will not be licensed.” Read more from Oxenford here.
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