I believe that one of the final nails in the coffin of Big Music will get hammered into place on July 15th, 2007. On that day, 300% to 1200% increases in the royalties paid will be due from Internet broadcasters across the fruited plains – retroactive of course. It’s a near fatal blow to a struggling business that is generally created and maintained by fans.
Many see this as a complete load of shit, considering that Big Music has exempted terrestrial radio from paying these fees. Currently, only Satellite radio pays royalties and they pay significantly less than that which will be required by Internet radio. Personally, I see this as a glowing opportunity to cut Big Music down at the knees.
¾ of my music collection is comprised of both independent and big label artists that I discovered by listening to Internet radio. As the stations shut down due to an inability to afford these new royalties, all artists will suffer by losing this free flowing outlet for their music.
For years, the industry has been in a downward spiral due to the short sightedness of the jerks in charge. They raise prices instead of improving the product. They hide behind the RIAA and devastate the consumers – free from blame. At every turn they attempt to increase revenue while limiting the options of the consumer.
Sadly for the Industry, this IS the 21st century where music can be affordably obtained ANYWHERE. The days of the Big Music storefront are over. Tower Records is gone, others that depend on this archaic failure of a business model will inevitably follow. Last Sunday an FYE rep gave me a $3 coupon at the Nickelback concert. Even at $3 off, I can get the same music for less from iTunes. Why bother?
So Big Music still thinks it can control the game and keep terrestrial radio viable in the information age in all likelihood this will lead to an even greater decline in overall sales and revenue as acts that rely on Internet radio exposure are forced off the air. Eventually, as a result of this latest calamity – I believe that artists will refuse to sign with any label that limits how their music is exposed to the fans.
They claim this is done for the artists, but it will only serve to decimate them. I don’t listen to the radio. I don’t buy CD’s. I am in a growing MAJORITY of WIRELESS consumers who rely on NEW TECHNOLOGY to satiate our entertainment needs. The Industry will never wake up, they’ll simply file for bankruptcy behind a cloud of golden parachutes ala Enron.
Go ahead and write your Congressperson as they wish you would at savenetradio.org. Personally, I’m going to sit back and enjoy the fire as Big Music screws the fans, the artists, and especially themselves – one last time.