Day of Silence
BY DANIEL MCSWAIN
Webcasters are speaking with a powerful voice today, as nearly all U.S.-based Internet radio streams have “gone silent” in a reaction to new royalty rates that threaten to decimate the majority of the webcast industry within weeks.
Webcasters of all stripes, from public broadcasters like KCRW to major webcast-only services like Yahoo! LAUNCHcast and Pandora, in addition to some of the country’s major terrestrial simulcasters (including Greater Media, Saga Communications, and B-101/Philadelphia), are participating in today’s “Day of Silence” to underscore the urgent need for Congressional intervention to keep webcasters alive.
Running up to today’s event, national media outlets have been following webcasters’ struggle against the excessive rates with growing attention and coverage. Today, that coverage, most of it highly sympathetic to webcasters’ efforts, continues to pour out, including in the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, the Associated Press, the BBC, and more.
Many webcasters have blocked access to their streams, while others are broadcasting loops of ambient sound interspersed with PSAs urging their audiences to take action today by contacting their representatives in Washington D.C.
The table below shows examples of how webcasters are presenting today’s silence to their audiences.