Independent, non-commercial broadcasters like myself are now becoming a rare choice for listening to music. After the Copyright Royalty Board's decision to end rates that were specifically designed for small stations like Vinyl Voyage Radio, stations all over the country began shutting off their streams. Live365, a service that relied on those rates and provided a means for thousands of broadcasters to pay royalties to SoundExchange, ASCAP, BMI and SOCAN, had to close its doors after operating for almost 20 years. Even iTunes Radio has shut down as well.
And the big players like Spotify and Pandora welcomed this decision as they saw a means to lessen competition. The result: less diversity, less choice. This is a loss not just for independent radio stations, but for consumers as well.
I started Vinyl Voyage Radio because I love music. I love listening to music on records. What I sought to do was build an eclectic playlist offering everything from the Beatles to barry Manilow. Anything that I could find on vinyl, I would stream.
We have a small operation here. But I do have listeners from all over the world. And I would like to continuing offering this music to those who like to listen
In the coming days, I will be starting a Indie Go Go campaign to keep Vinyl Voyage Radio on the air. I also plan on building the station beyond the limits of Live365. Although I always liked having the music commercial free, I will soon be selling limited numbers of ads to sponsors.
What can you do now? Add your voice to the growing number of people who want to keep variety in radio. The Copyright Royalty Board can still add the small broadcaster rates. Radiodiversity.org is gathering these voices to help make a change. Add your name below and join the fight.