Another Online Music, Talk and Podcasting Disaster: Live 365 Has Laid Off Just About Everyone and Has Left Their Offices

If you’re a webcaster and you’ve been using the resources of Live 365, an online staple since 1999, there’s trouble brewing. From RAIN:

The U.S. audio webcast industry is rocked by the music licensing regulations which change every five years — most recently on December 16 when the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) released webcast rates for 2016-2020. At the same time, a special provision called the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2009 is set to expire in the new year, ending a 10-year period in which low-revenue online radio stations could pay lower royalties to labels than those paid by Pandora and other big webcast brands. With no word yet on its renewal from SoundExchange, which is sanctioned by Congress to negotiate special licensing deals with industry groups, small webcasters are scrambling to map survival strategies.

Live365 pays the licensing fees for webcasters in the platform’s Pro plan. The platform hosts many webcasters who pay their own licensing obligations. So, Live365’s dilemma is twofold — how to afford higher rate obligations for the Pro group, and whether the platform will retain non-Pro webcasters faced with dramatically higher cost. In a cruel ironic twist, it could be the most popular stations that will experience and deliver the most pain — successful stations with more listening hours than the company’s Pro threshold cannot get into Pro, and therefore might go out of business, removing large blocks of ad inventory from Live365.

Uh-oh. Read the whole story here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

4 thoughts on “Another Online Music, Talk and Podcasting Disaster: Live 365 Has Laid Off Just About Everyone and Has Left Their Offices

  • December 30, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Perhaps this would be an opportune time to ask the patrons that enjoy the broadcasting to fork out for the music and programming they enjoy. For artists, that are not at the “Corporate” land mark end of the music industry, we rely on physical copies acknowledged in re-world sales. If the dominance of “Streaming” appeals to the masses, monetary reimbursements are necessary to the artisans, or it’s truly just going to end up with artists like Joss Stone being nominated for Reggae Artist of the Year. Corporately steered voting and results aren’t a true nor a fair representation of the music business, and mislead concert promoters and patrons into overpriced venues and merchandise.

  • December 31, 2015 at 10:57 am

    The Copyright Royalty Board has handed down a decision after meeting behind closed doors with Pandora and coming to an agreement in reference to royalty rate increases ( ) that literally cripples any small webcaster anywhere in the United States of America !

    In this agreement it states that the rate is $0.17 per 100 songs , per listener , raising rates so high that it makes it unaffordable by any broadcaster anywhere.

    While this bill HR1733 is good to force terrestrial radio to finally pay royalties which they had never done since the beginning of internet broadcasting, the original ” Small Webcaster Settlement Act ” ( SWSA ) has been eliminated making no provision whatsoever for hobbyist broadcasters who have no revenue to pay the outlandish fee’s that would be incurred upon them by the elimination of this agreement.

    It also creates a monopoly which according to US law has been deemed illegal in the United States of America , allowing only major corporations like Pandora and iHeart Radio to control what is being heard on the internet.

    For years, small webcasters have been paying royalty fee’s when terrestrial was not! And as a thank you for all the years of trying to do what was right , to be lawful and pay royalties that artists worldwide have worked so hard for and deserve, the Copyright Royalty Board has decided only the wealthy should be allowed to broadcast, thus ending small broadcasters tiny businesses all over the USA.

    Finally, this bill does not only affect the small broadcaster , but affects many businesses that small webcasters have supported as well thus eliminating literally MILLIONS of dollars of spending in business such as :
    * Streaming Servers
    * Chatrooms and servers
    * Messengers
    * Communities and servers
    * Games
    * Webhosting and servers
    * Banner Hosting services and many other services !

    For years small broadcasters have been paying licensing fee’s to stay legal on the internet, paying dues in appreciation for the hobby they so love. They have all had a dream of one day climbing that ladder to make a name for themselves, to achieve success. Some didn’t have that dream, they just wanted to enjoy what they loved to do. Now that dream has been stomped on, spat on, and kicked to the curb by the very people we entrust to treat us fairly. It’s shameful , unjust and should be considered criminal because of the results of this decision being made.

    It should not be allowed.

  • December 31, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    We can thank our congress with passing legislation to eliminate small radio and Internet broadcasters and favor large corportions whow can shell out the big bucks to pay royalties . These are small business owners who love to play good music and live what they are doing.

  • January 20, 2016 at 1:11 am

    When Coke and Pepsi had falling sales they bought up grocery store shelf space and removed the competition this is what is going on here. They are so threatened that people are listening to something else. Pandora and Spotify are trash nothing was better than Live365 but no one seemed to know about it. This was the worse thing to happen to music in the internet age.


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