How Internet Radio Royalties Flow

We, naturally, get a lot of calls from professionals interested in starting their own Internet radio stations. After we explain how easy it is to launch and operate a complete radio station in the cloud, using our Backbone Radio and Backbone Talk services, we are usually asked about how Internet radio royalty rights are handled and paid. Recently we found an excellent visual aid to help you follow the money, and we want to share it with you.

As you probably already know, broadcasters are responsible for their content, as well as any and all royalties that need to be paid on their stream. If you are a customer of Backbone, you have seen this laid out in the Backbone Networks Terms of Service, where section 2 lists the station’s responsibilities. Chief among them is that the broadcaster must have or must secure the rights to the content that they are broadcasting.  In other words, you must own the content or you must get a license to broadcast it, especially to stream it.

Let’s assume that you have secured those rights either with a direct license or a statutory license. Where do the Internet radio royalty payments go? The Future of Music Coalition and the Berklee College of Music have put together a great infographic on how this works.

royalty-flow-radio

Royalty Flow for non-interactive Internet Radio

As you can see, terrestrial radio broadcasters are not required to pay royalty payments for performances, but non-interactive Internet radio broadcasters are. Nonetheless, Internet radio continues to grow, while terrestrial radio continues to decline.

We hope you enjoy this infographic. Please let us know if it helps you envision the flow a little better.

Indiana Junior High Club Sets Example in College Radio Network

Lincoln Junior High School Radio Station Storm RadioIn the largest network of online college and high school radio stations, you would expect the biggest, most senior or most affluent of the student radio clubs to maintain the leadership role for its sister affiliate stations. However, a new affiliate station in Plymouth, Indiana has stepped up to become one of the nation’s most active and successful online stations, even though the station comprises the youngest group of broadcasters in the IBS Student Radio Network—and said to be the only 24/7 junior high radio station in the United States.

In little more than six months from launching Digital Storm Radio, the students of Lincoln Jr. High School, under the direction of Ms. Paula Neidlinger, have established their station as living example of what student-run radio can achieve. Not only have they brought home three first place awards from this year’s premier college IBS College Radio Awardbroadcasters’ conference in New York City and tackled the task of creating their own staff training videos, but they have found the elusive formula for funding their radio station through local sponsorships.

Winners in News, Sports, Talk
Last month at the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System’s 75th annual International Conference, the LJH Digital Storm team Lincoln Junior High School Radio Award Winnerswere finalists in five categories in the high school division, walking away with three wins: Best Spot News:  Trenton Arveson, Nikki Laucis, and Brittney Klotz;  Best Sports Update:  Soren Houin and Shaun Frantz; and Best Sports Program:  Adam Hunter and Korey Kopetski.

Storm Radio is one of the few “high school” stations to schedule live call-in talk shows, and has been a beta partner in testing our recently announced Backbone Talk™ broadcast phone system in the cloud. The LJH radio team saw this as an opportunity to put their own spin on documenting a new technology, so they applied their media expertise and made their own training video showing how to configure a mixing board for “mix-minus” and how to screen phone calls through their Mac® computers. We are proud to feature this video on the Backbone YouTube page.

How are they funding the station?
Tackling one of the most important, and difficult, subjects in broadcast media, the team have secured six sponsors from their community, including a funeral home, a pizza parlor, a Ford dealership and Coca Cola. Junior High Radio club finds community sponsorsIn addition to performing live reads, the students have produced commercials for each sponsor. These spots run throughout the day and night, using the Backbone Radio automation system.

More about Storm Radio
Storm Radio, is one part of the Interactive Media program at Lincoln Junior High (Plymouth, IN), which is a new program this year.  The radio station is a 24/7 Internet Radio with the call tag – STORM RADIO – “Ride the Waves.”  The radio station is Internet based, so it’s available through the TuneIn App on iOS and Android devices, the LJH DigitalStorm website-http://www.ljhdigitalstorm.com/ , and the Internet at: http://tunein.com/radio/Storm-Radio-s231710/    Students research, write, create, and broadcast daily and provide 100 percent of the programming.

 

 

Funding your college radio station

Funding your college radio stationWe have been running the IBS Student Radio Network for years now and have over 40 stations as members. One question we often ask our schools is how are you funding your college radio station? As you all know every school is a bit different and that impacts how the stations are funded, organized and how they operate.  Let me provide you with a high level overview of how schools are getting their funding.  I will also provide a preview of things we are investigating to help with the broader funding effort.
Student Government – The school has a number of clubs and provides the student government a budget to operate the clubs.  Depending upon interest, budget and drive of the students they generate the necessary interest to get their share of the student government budget.  The stations at Goucher College, Long Island University and Babson are funded in this manner.
Communications/Journalism Department – The school has one or both of these departments and offer majors in these subjects and other closely associated fields.  What we are starting to see is a move toward consolidated “media” departments that encompass the student newspaper, its radio station and where they have a program “television”.  The trend we are seeing is a move to transition the “Communications” department at some schools to become the “Journalism” department providing more focus on the research and reporting aspect of communications and the associated skill required.  This is reflected in what is happening out in the commercial world.  The stations at Franklin & Marshall, Lehman CollegeTowson, Oklahoma State and Simmons College are organized in this manner.
Underwriting/Commercials – Some schools augment their budgets with underwriting and commercials.  Traditionally if the school ran a terrestrial radio station they were non-commercial.  As such they were required to comply with FCC regulations on what it means to be a non-commercial radio station.  These stations took underwriting spots instead.  While Internet radio does not have the same restrictions most stations are operating as if they were FCC non-commercial regulated because it is good training for the students.  Oklahoma State University takes underwriting spots from the local pizza parlor and a few other sponsors.
Other – One of the schools we had worked with runs a radio station and a record label.  The radio station is used to promote the music of the record label and vice versa.  The school offers programs in both to help the students gain valuable experience in their desired fields.
We are investigating how to help schools with some of the above efforts and other synergies they may have within the school and elsewhere.  Our fundamental view is that the stream belongs to the school, our efforts are intended support the station in how they would like to operate.  Anything we do will be opt-in by the school/station.
Underwriting/Commercials – While many of the schools would like to fund their efforts through underwriting they may not be set up this way.  Some have asked Backbone to provide underwriting spots for them.  At the network level this is easier but it also needs to have significant local flavor and buy in from the school.  For example, a school would like to opt-out of ads that do not align with the mission of the school. 
Other schools would like all fund raising to go through the development department.  Others are looking to align their suppliers with their externally focused efforts.  For example, the cafeteria has all Coca-Cola products, they would like to make sure they run Coca-Cola underwriting spots on their station and not plugs for their competitors.
Local Events – Many schools have a community service requirement for their students.  We are investigating ways to help the radio station work with local events as a means of community service and outreach.  For example, a number of our schools have broadcast the Jamaica Plain Music Fest.  Local stations can broadcast the event and promote the causes of the community.  Additionally, the event sponsors may want to underwrite spots on the local stations.
Departmental Synergies – Some schools have significant athletic department budgets and their teams are a source of great school spirit and pride.  Backbone Radio enables the broadcast of remote events quite easily.  We are looking for schools that want to work with their athletic departments to broadcast their games, i.e. Lacrosse, Field Hockey, Basketball, etc.  This fosters cross department cooperation and additional experience for the students at the radio station.  Like the underwriting listed above we are looking to work with schools on these efforts.  Additionally, schools that do broadcast their sporting events command a premium for spots on that type of programming and may be able to get some of their funding from the athletic department.
Other – There are some Internet oriented crowd sourced funding efforts that are cropping up.  We are looking for ways to help enable these at the network and station level.
We will continue to look beyond our place as a service supplier to help stations address the opportunities available to them in broadcast.  College radio is a great place to learn and experiment with different operational models.  We are looking for ways to partner with our stations in these experiments. Leave your thoughts on what you think of some of these efforts or other opportunities where we can help.  We look forward to making college radio a vibrant, creative place to listen.

Radio Hires the Internet Star

Mark Ramsey

Mark Ramsey

This week we have a guest post from veteran media strategist, researcher, and trend-maker  Mark Ramsey, president of Mark Ramsey Media.

As we are in the middle of the season filled with college radio events, Mark has allowed us to republish Radio Hires the Internet Star from his blog. This short story is a great lesson about how old media can use new media to drive engagement, as well as how a few new media stars understand the power of old media better than some who work in it.

Andrea Russett

Andrea Russett

What’s the best way to develop new talent?

Is it to steal from the switchboard and upgrade to sidekick?

Is it to place a blind ad in an industry trade?

Is it to hire or voice-track a good-enough talent from another market where that talent’s awareness in this market is zero?

You could steal somebody from across the street.

Or you could do what Phil Becker did.

Phil went to the Internet.

But he didn’t recruit just anybody.  He went for the locally-based YouTube talent who already has an audience and a following – over 250,000 YouTube subscribers and more ethan 100,000 Twitter followers to be exact.

And she’s 16 years old.

Phil is GM/Director of Content for Oasis Radio Group and his new talent, Andrea Russett, is the newest star at Oasis’s HOT 107.9 in Fort Wayne, IN.

Watch this chat with Phil about what his team did and just how well it’s working:

Since that post Andrea Russett’s popularity has continued to skyrocket. I expect we will be hearing more from her.

Visit the Hivio site for the upcoming audio festival event where Andrea Russett will be one of the speakers.

We’re Part of the 27% and Proud of It

Internet Radio InfographicA recently released infographic from BrandSavant.com indicates that 53% of online Americans listen to “streaming audio” in one form or another. It distinguishes among three large categories: Personalized radio (Pandora and iTunes — music), On-Demand Music (esp. Spotify), and Live Streaming (TuneIn, Backbone and others).  Music, music and everything.

This could alternatively be framed as: Robot DJ, Infinite iPod and Radio.  Certainly, Pandora and Spotify perform their functions with wonderful precision, but neither fills the function of real online radio any more than MTV and VH1 complete the cable television experience.

Twenty-seven percent of the people, and we think that number will soar when in-car dashboards are better connected, listen to the thousands of live streaming stations available on tuners like TuneIn. And, what is the composition of the programming on these stations?  Much of it is music, some of it personally curated by talented program directors, and some of it produced on autopilot.  It takes a lot for a station to stand out among the crowd.

At Backbone, we’re fortunate to work with clients who really know what it takes to make radio great.  We work with faculty advisors who understand traditional radio and teach their students how to apply that experience into online radio which represents their colleges and high schools.  We work with seasoned news organizations and professionals to create compelling talk radio that engages listeners and callers from around the world.  We work with professional and Division 1 NCAA teams and leagues who create an exciting blend of live play-by-play with interactive halftimes and 24/7 team-related sports content.  This is real radio.

Music is wonderful, whether you listen to it passively or actively grab it on-demand.  But there is much more to radio than music, just as there is much more to music than radio.  We love being part of the 27% of the radio you can’t get from Pandora or Spotify.

It’s College Radio Day! Show Your Support

It’s here, today, October 1, —  College Radio Day. This special day was created at William Patterson University in New Jersey by Dr. Rob Quicke to raise a greater, international awareness of the many college and high school radio stations that operate around the world, by encouraging people who would not normally listen to college radio to do so today.

College Radio FundAnd, launching today is the organization’s College Radio Fund, a “common source of funding available to all college radio stations”.  Learn more about what this means to you at the CRD-Fund web site.

College Radio DayStarted in 2011, 37 countries have signed on to College Radio Day. College radio is “the only free live medium brave enough to play unsigned, local, and independent artists on a regular basis,” Quicke said. “Indeed, many famous and successful bands today, owe their initial break to being played on college radio.”

We at Backbone are especially proud to be a sponsor of College Radio Day, as the technology host, of the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System’s IBS Student Radio Network — the largest online network of student-run college and high school radio stations. Dr. Quicke’s creation has not only gained traction, but become a major force in the music and entertainment industries, as well as noncommercial radio. Read more at collegeradioday.com

Please make this the day you rediscover College and High School Radio.  Take this opportunity to scan around for some excellent listening, like what you will find at these stations.

Tools for DJs – Spinitron, playlist management for Internet radio

Spinitron LogoWe are always looking for ways to help our radio stations operate more effectively and efficiently. We have recently come across a great tool to help DJs with a lot of their day to day efforts, Spinitron. Eva and Tom have put together a great solution. Let me tell you a bit more about what it does.

Spinitron is an online playlist management solution for non-commercial educational and community radio stations. It is all web based; there is no software to install. It provides sophisticated features for playlist data entry (manual & automated) and dynamic online publishing. It solves your data storage, archiving and security issues. You can integrate station schedule, current and historical playlists, as well as other custom elements, into your web site. You can put “Now Playing” on your home page, webcast stream, mobile apps, RDS and others.

With an advanced database design, Spinitron offers powerful data manipulation and analysis features. Compile Top-30 charts (or however many you like) with filtering by genre, time period, etc. Generate unlimited reports for CMJ, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and SoundExchange. Track the popularity of artists, disks and songs. Query how often certain disks get played. Produce reports of what DJs at the station are playing to give to record companies and promotional agencies. Stay connected with your listeners.

Watch for other interesting developments as we start working together with them on a few projects.  Discover Spinitron with a 30-day no-obligation free trial. Contact: Eva Papp at eva@spinitron.com or 617-233-3115 to learn more.

Emmanuel Goes Mobile With Internet Radio Broadcasting

HigherEdTechDecisionsWe often write on our blog about how our stations are using or service to reach their audience. This time HigherEdTechDecisions did that for us. Their lead article today is on Emmanuel College ECRadio.

It is a great summary of what Emmanuel College radio is doing and how easy it is for them to operate a station and perform live remotes.

IBS Student Radio Network Election Coverage . . .

Be sure to tune into Fisk and Simmons College radio for their perspective on the election.

Fisk University WFSK logo88.1FM WFSK Presents:  Live Election Night Coverage of local, statewide & national races beginning right after the polls close at 7pm.  Co-Anchored by Sharon Kay and Ron Wynn, WFSK will present on the ground perspective from key battleground states such as Ohio, Wisconsin & Virginia.

Hear the excitement as the returns come in from around Tennessee and other states.  WFSK hopes you get a chance to tune in during the course of this historic election coverage.  They stream at www.wfskfm.org or on Dar.fm or TuneIn.

Simmons College will be covering the election also but with a bit more of a slant toward Massachusetts politics because there school is not far from Romney headquarters.  The stream at Simmons College Radio or on Dar.fm and TuneIn.

IBS Student Radio Network stays on the air, Sandy has no impact

Sandy SwirlWhile hurricane Sandy has come and gone its impact is still being felt all of our stations stayed up and on the air.  A good number of our college radio stations had school canceled and did not have access to their studios but they all remained on the air.  This is enabled by the cloud based design and architecture of Backbone Radio and provides two major benefits.

The first is that your station is always available in the cloud.  Your station is not running the servers, we are.  And we have designed them to stay up and operational virtually all the time. When there have been outages in the past they are quite small and are often handled without the station’s intervention.

The second is that your studio is mobile.  A few of our stations did not have access to their studios so could not broadcast live.  If they planned ahead they could have broadcast live from anywhere there was an Internet connection.

Tres Wiggins, Marymount Manhattan: “We were on the air live when we could get an internet connection– but ran on backbone automation otherwise throughout, and working on post-storm coverage now”

Let’s hope the clean up goes well for all of those impacted.  With our stations continually on the air they will be out there to bring you updates.