On December 15th the Copyright Royalty Board announced new rates for the artist royalties for streaming music. When these rates were finalized by SoundExchange, they eliminated the Small Broadcaster tier of broadcasters from their licensing options. As a result of this, now small broadcasters have to pay a significant increase in royalties. In the case of Musical Justice, this would be a 20 times increase based on our peak listenership. Other stations on Live365 could see more than 150 times increase in rates.
These new rates have put our stations at risk. They've also caused significant layoffs at our streaming host service, Live365, which further puts the future of the Musical Justice stations at risk. The new rates go into effort as of January 1, 2016. With the changes at Live365, it's not clear what impact this will have on the availability of Musical Justice, although we believe that our stations will still be available to VIP listeners only. The expense of the new rates also likely means that we will have to shut down at least 6 of the 9 Musical Justice stations. It's possible that these stations will be streaming but that we will no longer have the ability to update music libraries and playlists through Live365.
Before we get taken off the air completely, we'd like to first thank all the people who have listened to Musical Justice over the almost 16 years we've been on the air. Without your support, we'd have gone dark long ago. We'd also like to thank all the artists that we've played. It's your work that keeps us passionate and hopeful for the future. As we stare at an uncertain future, if you'd like to know what's going on with Musical Justice, you can follow us on Facebook or Twitter. You can also go to our website at MusicalJustice.com. Feel free to email me directly at email@example.com if you'd like to keep in contact. We know that you've got a lot of options to hear great music. We'll be around somehow, someway and hope that this gets resolved quickly. Thanks for giving us your ears for a little while. And now, on with the show...
Thursday, December 31, 2015
This is the official statement from Musical Justice on the potential changes as of January 1, 2016: