Last week the new webcasting licensing rates were released by the CRB. While they were favorable to the larger webcasters, such as Pandora, they were not as favorable to smaller operations, such as Live365 – which is the service Flashback Alternatives uses to broadcast.
Of equal importance to the webcast rates is the renewal of the Small Webcaster Agreement. This is a separate agreement offered by SoundExchange that makes webcasting affordable for Small / Hobbyist Webcasters. This is a key foundation to the broadcast package Flashback Alternatives is part of on Live365. This agreement expires on 12/31/15.
According to various sources, on Monday, 12/21/15, SoundExchange is going to make an announcement on the fate of the SWA. Without the SWA many internet radio stations will go silent as they will not be able to afford to broadcast.
Small Webcasters are an important part of radio as they serve niche musical tastes that aren’t accommodated by the larger players. They also are important to artists who may not get airtime anywhere else. Small / hobbyist webcasters broadcast for the love of the music – not to make money. In many cases small/hobbyist broadcasters spend more to run their operations than what they may receive in the form of listener contributions. This is not a business for us – and hopefully SoundExchange continues to recognize that by renewing the SWA.
You can follow along with what is going on with the process on R.A.I.N.
With that said, I am actively looking at other options, and I have identified two that should work for Flashback Alternatives. In both cases some advertising would need to be inserted into the stream (2 – 2 min blocks), and some modifications would need to be made to the specialty shows to accommodate this requirement. Other than that and a few changes to the listen links, we should be able to continue to broadcast as is regardless whether the SWA is renewed.
I will update everyone as soon as I have more news.
As always, thanks for listening to Flashback Alternatives!