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In the music industry, today may have almost been known as the day the music died... or at least the day Internet radio died...
Today was supposed to be the day that significant royalty increases were supposed to go into effect for Internet radio. These royalty increases almost certainly would bankrupt many smaller sites and effectively put all but the largest of Internet radio sites out of business, cutting down on variety of stations, the number of sources were bands can promote and places people can find new music. The Save Net Radio organization was working at rapid pace to raise awareness about this royalty increase and how it might the industry. I already commented on this cause in another post here on the Soul of Rock 'n' Roll, so feel free to read that post here: Trying to Save Internet Radio and is it Really in Jeopardy?
I am happy to announce today though, on the day that those rates were supposed to go into effect, that the Save Net Radio organizations efforts appear not to have been in vain. It looked pretty bleak for a minute or two there as the US District Court of Appeals had already denied an emergency stay petition that would have delayed the implementation of their Internet Radio Equality Act that set forth the royalty increase. Just last week though, the label affiliated SoundExchange announced that it would not be enforcing the royalty increase and that they would go back to negotiating with the Digital Media Association to find a better compromise. This is a good sign for net radio and although certain organizations in the music industry will probably still try to sabotage themselves in the name of greed, it appears that this might be a step in the right direction.
Of course I've said that before, so only time will tell...
I can't predict what will happen with Internet Radio as the industry is shifting every single day towards a new model that will most likely completely redefine how bands are able to reach their audiences. I'm hoping though, that this might just be one the first steps towards the higher ups in the music industry's major players actually listening to the people. Apparently one million people contacted Congress on Save Net Radio's day of silence alone about the royalty issue and that sent a pretty obvious signal.
The people spoke and finally... someone listened... and that is a positive sign that at least sometimes the system works like it should.
References: Rolling Stone Magazine