Wednesday, May 01, 2002

don't adjust that dial
Your internet radio isn't broken. It might just not be broadcasting today.

I'm not certain that there's ever been a time when a person can hear such a great variety of music as they can today. Well... not today. Today is a day of silence on the web. I'm not a big fan of "a day without" movements. I've seen people try to push forward a number of different memes on the web, such as a day without blogs, a day without driving, and even a day without underwear. Today has been proclaimed a day of silence. Rather than music, many stations will play "silence" with public service announcements popping up every once in a while. Other stations will continue to broadcast music, but with a heavy dose of PSAs placed into the mix.

Why no music? Why PSAs? "Sound recordings performance royalty" rates for Internet radio stations go into effect on May 21st. The amount proposed is considerably more than the revenue generated by many stations. Many of these stations are hoping that people who listen in will take a moment or two to write an email to a Senator or Congressman. Because of the costs, the sound of silence that you hear today may be the same sound you hear on your favorite internet radio station when the royalty rates go into effect on May 21.

I'm a big music fan, and the chance to hear new songs on the web has influenced my buying decisions considerably. I very rarely listen to the radio anymore, except if it's online. But I do buy music based upon what I hear on the net.

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