Internet Radio Priced out of Its Market

Internet radio is an increasingly popular service, providing both online feeds of on-air radio stations and eclectic Internet-only services. Internet radio was operating under the Small Webcasters Settlement Act of 2002. On March 7, 2007, the Copyright Royalty Board released new rates. Rates that will end up with the average Internet radio station paying more than it makes in revenue. And the rates increase annually through 2010. Ah, yes, plus retroactive collection for 2006.

Regarding how radio back in the 1920s used to be so cheap and popular that people would run up a mast in the backyard and sgtart broadcasting, I wrote “The trick used with radio of allocating spectrum won’t work for the Internet.” That was the trick that closed down most radio and left that medium to a few big mass media. There’s always another trick, though, and copyright may work for Internet radio.

This isn’t strictly about net neutrality, because it’s not ISPs that are effectively shutting down Internet radio. This whittling away at services will happen much faster without net neutrality, however.