SoundExchange’s slippery slope

A very clever – and very smart – strategic move by SoundExchange.

From Inside Radio:

In an effort to appear not to look like they’re bullying small business – SoundExchange says any small webcaster that does $1.25 million in revenues or less will get to revert to the old copyright payment structure. It’s a move designed to relieve building pressure in Congress to toss out the March Copyright Board decision that handed labels big increases. SoundExchange isn’t being quite so generous to radio — which is facing hefty hikes in the amount it’ll need to pay for streaming. The NAB Radio Board has gone on record as saying those rates “will cause significant harm to broadcasters” that stream over the Internet.

This effectively takes the steam out of a grassroots revolt while increasing pressure on the Big Boys with all the resources, including those of us in the radio business.

Although it also drives a stake through the heart of the “equity” argument which dictates that rates should be “fair” and equal across the board.

If rates can be lower for small webcasters because they’re small, then why can’t rates be lower for large radio stations because those stations turn free airplay into music sales? Once you make exceptions to the rule the slope gets slippery fast.

What’s shaping up will be an epic battle between two mega-industries with lots to lose – and lots to gain.

POSTSCRIPT:

Evidently something’s still rotten in proverbial Denmark (from Mashable):

So what’s the problem? SaveNetRadio is stating that keeping rates at their current prices would actually stunt the growth of smaller firms, and ruin Internet radio as an industry, noting that even Yahoo and AOL radio divisions would be considered small compared to broadcast radio standards, making true competition with existing media companies impossible. Which raises the question; who’s interests are actually being protected?

Do you really have to ask whose interests are being served?

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