On Friday The Copyright Royalty Board announced its Web V proceeding, which details how much radio stations will pay in streaming royalties through 2025. To explain exactly what was decided, and how much more you, will pay we reached out to Broadcast Attorney David Oxenford.
Oxenford tells Radio Ink that it appears the rates applicable to both broadcasters that simulcast their over-the-air signals on the internet and other non-interactive webcasters will go up. “The per performance (per song, per listener) royalty rate increases to $.0021 for non-subscription streams, up from the current $.0018.”
The NAB wanted the rates to go down significantly and SoundExchange wanted radio to pay much more.
Michael Huppe, President and CEO of SoundExchange said the CRB decision means creators will be compensated more fairly. “While the rates are lower than SoundExchange and others proposed, they represent a step forward toward building a healthier music industry. The decision reflects the compelling case made by SoundExchange and our allies that we need to close the gap between what artists and rights holders have been paid and what they should be paid for their work. We haven’t fully closed that gap, but today is a step in the right direction.”
And here’s a statement from the NAB: “NAB is looking forward to reviewing the Board’s opinion in detail. We are pleased that the Copyright Royalty Board did not adopt SoundExchange’s aggressive and deeply flawed proposal to effectively reinstate the old rates for ad-supported services. Once we review the decision, we can then determine any next steps.”
In another change, according to Oxenford, the minimum per-channel fee is going up to $1,000 for each channel that is streamed (from $500). “For each entity that is relying on this compulsory license, their maximum aggregate per-channel minimum fee is $100,000 (up from $50,000). That means that, each January, a company relying on this license will have to pay $1,000 per channel that they stream up to the maximum $100,000. These yearly up-front payments will be credited against actual usage fees, which are paid monthly.”
Oxenford also says nonprofit webcasters will be subject to the same minimum per-channel fees. However, a webcaster that is a nonprofit entity is permitted to stream on any channel up to 159,140 aggregate tuning hours per month for the yearly $1,000 minimum. That permits a nonprofit webcaster to average approximately 200 simultaneous listeners on a channel before having to pay for streaming at the commercial per performance rate. Webcasters who are affiliated with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are not subject to these fees, as CPB has negotiated a separate blanket license that covers its affiliates.
The Full decision will be out in a few weeks, once the participating parties can ask for redaction of sensitive business information. This decision can be appealed to the US Court of Appeals. Payments under these new rates will likely be retroactive to January 1st of this year.