The first internet radio station I ever tuned in to was a downtempo ambient stream from Soma FM. I was working long, late hours at
a website sweatshop an interactive services firm, with visions of plump stock options dancing over my monitor. The music and the delivery method were equally captivating. Radio! On the computer! Whoah. It felt so new at the time. I've remained a loyal Soma FM fan as years passed.
Now, Soma FM and other Internet radio providers -- including terrestrial radio networks now offering streams online -- are in big trouble, thanks to blockheaded moves by the RIAA and its spinoff, SoundExchange.
I asked Soma FM general manager Rusty Hodge if he wouldn't mind sharing an overview with BoingBoing readers, and he generously complied. Snip:
There is a crisis facing internet radio: new mandatory royalty rates are so high that they will force most or all independent internet radio stations off the air.Read the entire post here. It's comprehensive, with lots of links. If you're not familiar with the issues facing webcasters right now, it's a great place to start. Rusty has also posted an update with some breaking news from today, here. Rusty also points to SaveNetRadio, an advocacy website for internet broadcasters: Link.
Kurt Hanson and the Radio and Internet Newsletter (RAIN) folks have been covering this from the beginning, too -- here's their latest post: Link.
(Thanks, Wayne Correia, and Fred von Lohmann!)
Reader comment: Aram Sinnreich says,
I just published an interview on the subject with tim westergren from pandora in truthdig.com: Link.