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Remember When “Music” Was on the Radio? July 17, 2009

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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Back before the CRB/ Soundexchange Royalty rates v. Internet Radio issue originally reared its ugly head, I realized the hard truth. We had simply engineered something that would look too attractive to someone who would eventually ask for a piece of the action. I was not wrong.

Here we had created streams that ran 24/7 that must have looked like pure gold. These glistening streams caught SoundExchange/RIAA eyes (and ears) and caused them to reel from the the idea that they could stand to profit if they could ram-rod an initiative through Congress that would force broadcasters to pay based on a percentage of what they were streaming, they could possibly bolster sagging industry profits. Just siphon off a percentage of those streams, you would stand to pocket a lot of money.

Services such as live365.com made it too easy for hobbyists to create an online radio-stations and contribute to what in retrospect must have been enough to make the whole globe hum with music as never experienced before.

If we had had the foresight then to somehow strike a balance of talk and music, even a balance of say 40 per cent talk/60 per cent music, internet radio would not have appeared such a rich vein to mine.

Now, writes industry analyst Mark Ramsey at his Hear 2.0 blog. “the ‘next big thing’ in radio is the gradual disappearance of music stations to be replaced by non-music stations,

Internet music services put radio at a “competitive disadvantage,” says Ramsey, and most — though probably not all — music stations may disappear. But “non-music” formats should not be limited to sports and talk.

“If you think that the appetite for non-music content begins and ends with Sports and Political Talk and whatever slim recipes we have beyond that you will miss the boat completely,” he writes.

“Want ideas for new formats that are non-music? Just turn on your cable TV…In the long run, radio’s advantage – whether it be on-air or online – will be related to the compelling power and distinctiveness of our content. And the sheer clutter of competition will make compelling and distinctive music brands with loyal audiences far fewer and farther between.”

http://www.hear2.com/2009/07/remember-when-music-was-on-the-radio.html#comment-6a00d834518c6c69e20115711f062e970c

Hindsight is always 20/20.

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