Optimism underlies streaming issues


SoundExchange and internet audio streamers believe they’re on the verge of a deal to tie a realistic royalty structure to the fledgling industry, but not before Congress adjourns. That’s a problem, since Congress would have to ratify any deal. But an extended deadline has been approved by the House and the Senate may act soon as well.

Streamer Pandora’s Tim Westergren has been leading the charge to get an extension from Congress, and is sticking to his estimate that the scheme put forth by the Library of Congress Copyright Review Board would cost his company $17M of its projected 2008 income of $25M, a 70%, industry-crippling hit. Broadcasters are also interested in streaming content and will also benefit from extended negotiation time.

RBR/TVBR observation: Just like it is not in the best interests of musicians to cripple radio airplay, it is not in their interest to cripple internet spins either. In fact, internet links can directly lead to the artist, whether on a radio or internet only site, leading to the sale of recordings, concert tickets, t-shirts and other paraphernalia. This is where the future is, gang – be there or be square. The thing about websites, however, is that there is an unlimited supply of them out there. But broadcasters have a unique ability to drive traffic to their own site – and this is a huge advantage over other internet start-ups – use it.