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.

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.

Extending Newspaper Brands through Online Radio


I just got back from the AAN Convention in sunny San Francisco where I was on a panel with Jeff Lawrence the Publisher of DigBoston. Our panel was on using Online Radio as a way for the Alternative Newsmedia to extend their brand.

The session was well attended and Jeff is quite passionate about his paper, DigBoston and the opportunity to extend their brand in the community. With many of the large major metropolitan newspapers cutting their budgets the “Alts” have become the arts and entertainment newspapers in the community. It is only natural for them to run a radio station as a way to broaden the appeal of what they already provide to the community.

The does not mean adding online radio will be easy, it will be a challenge, but one worth taking, particularly in the age of the internet. He gave a number of examples where in just a few months he was able to find sponsors for certain types of programming. The common thread was live and community based.

My part of the panel traced the history of the “media” industry where media was viewed through their specific type of media, newspapers, television and radio. Each media had a certain business model with which they needed to comply. For example, with radio, there was only so much spectrum, you needed to get an FCC license and there were restrictions on the amount of media properties you could own. On the capital side you needed to build a studio with specialized equipment and people to run that equipment.

Today with the Internet you do not need an FCC license to run an online radio station. There are few if any restriction on ownership of media properties and the ability to set up and run an online radio station is quite inexpensive. While there are differences between newspapers and radio there are tremendous synergies. The time is now to get into the market and extend your reach.

Contact me if you would like to see the version with speaker notes!

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.

Internet Radio Takes SxSW Music Live, Worldwide, with a Berklee Finale

South By Southwest just keeps getting bigger and better, and we had the pleasure of bringing a lot of the entertainment live to music fans around the globe this year.  Teaming up with the “Indie Ambassadors” of Presskit.to, we helped create the majority, if not all, of the live radio coverage from Austin.  In fact, in the entire SxSW Trade Show Exhibition, Backbone was the only exhibitor under the category of “radio”.

Ben Maitland-Lewis - Whole Foods, AustinAs we mentioned in our previous post, we planned to broadcast three large events, including one from the Whole Foods“mothership” store and the RockSXSW day party from the world famous Maggie Mae’s Gibson Lounge on Sixth Street.  What we didn’t tell you is our fourth music showcase would be the eighth annual Berklee College of Music’s SxSW Day Party.

See the Berklee Blogs for more photos and artist lineup on this excellent party.

We at Backbone are proud to have the opportunity to work with Presskit.to on these productions, and to have helped all of these artists reach a much wider audience from the Live Music Capital of the World.

Join the Parties at SXSW — In Person, or on the Radio

South by Southwest (SXSW) is the place to be for music and entertainment, and you can be there even if you don’t have the travel budget. This year Backbone is teaming with Presskit.to as they broadcast a number of parties and showcases from Austin, TX during SXSW — Live on your phone, computer or other device.  We’ll be using the twitter hashtag #SXSWRADIO if you would like to follow along as we move from event to event.

SXSW Presskit.to RadioLeading up to SXSW Events:

Presskit.to will be broadcasting a number of events leading up to SXSW from their studios in Charlestown.  Here are a few:

Wednesday March 6th, 8:00AM

Nobody’s Robots – A Farewell to Piebald – ALL DAY

The final recorded live performance from Boston’s Piebald. We’ll be playing the show from start to finish over and over and over. Be sure to tune in!

Thursday March 7th, 5:00PM

Presskit.to Bus Sessions from SXSW 2012

Featuring stripped down recordings from, I the Mighty, Ximena Sariñana, Crocodiles, Chamberlin, The Shills, Waters, PAPA, The Spinto Band, Herra Terra, Sean Bones, Sun Hotel, Eyes Lips Eyes

Thursday March 7th, 8:00PM

The Life Electric, Live in Studio.  This event is still coming together so check the Presskit.to web-site for more details.

Your current lineup of SxSW events:

Whole Foods Eat n GreetOn Monday, March 11th, 5:00-9:00PM they will be broadcasting the SXSW Full Circle Eat n’ Greet at Whole Foods, presented by Circle Media & Marketing. Stop by the Whole Foods at 4301 W. William Cannon Drive in Austin for a stellar lineup and great food!

RockSxSWOn Thursday, March 14th, they will have another great line up as they broadcast the Rock SXSW day party from the legendary Maggie Mae’s rooftop at 323 East 6th Street in Austin between 11:30AM and 5:30PM.

Focus Event at SXSWLater on Thursday, they’ll be broadcasting an eclectic mix of bands and EDM artists from Big Bangs at 415 East 6th street, Austin between 7:00PM and 2:00AM so TUNE IN!

Follow Backbone and Presskit.to on Twitter and Facebook for more information on these and other events.  For more information visit the main Presskit.to page for SXSW where we will provide continuous updates.

Presskit.to is a small group of entrepreneurs with a diverse, collective background in music, business, technology, and marketing. Their multimedia portfolio solution empowers over 3000 artists and entertainment companies worldwide.

Future of Music Coalition event today

fmc12-bannerToday, you can listen to in on the Future of Music Coalition Summit.  Here is the current schedule of events:

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

9:00 AM – 9:05 AM
Welcome+

9:05 AM – 9:25 AM
In Conversation: Tim Westergren of Pandora

9:30 AM – 10:10 AM
Expression Obsession: IP Enforcement & Internet Openness

10:15 AM – 10:35 AM
In Conversation: Daniel Raimer of RapidShare

10:40 AM – 11:40 AM
Presentations from Artist Growth, CASH Music, HugeFan and Songkick

11:40 PM – 12:50 PM
LUNCH: In Conversation with Thomas Frank, Sascha Meinrath & Rebecca Gates

12:50 PM – 1:30 PM
Radio-active: Internet Broadcasting and Artist Compensation

1:35 PM – 2:30 PM
Making Music-Making Work for Working Musicians

2:30 PM – 2:50 PM
Keynote: Senator Ron Wyden

2:50 PM – 3:10 PM
Artist Revenue Streams Presentation: Leverage

3:10 PM – 3:50 PM
Why Pussy Riot Matters

3:55 PM – 4:35 PM
The Intersection of Data, Policy and the Arts Sector

4:40 PM – 5:15 PM
Election Day Aftermath & The Arts

5:20 PM – 6:00 PM
In Conversation: Merrill Garbus, Thao Nguyen, Chris Walla and Jordan Kurland

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Gibson Guitar Washington D.C. Showroom
Cocktail Party hosted by MailChimp

* All items and speakers subject to change

Future of Music Coalition’s E-Summit + Backbone Internet Radio

This week’s guest blog post is from Charles McEnerney, Principal, Layers Marketing and Host,Well-Rounded Radio.  He is helping to coordinate this event and working to get the word out well beyond the actual conference.

fmc12-bannerOn Tuesday, November 13th, the Future of Music Coalition will hold its 11th annual Summit in Washington, DC, this year at the New America Foundation from 9 AM-6 PM EST / 6 AM-3 PM PDT.  This year’s event is now at capacity and sold out!

As you may know, the Future of Music Coalition is a national nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Founded in June 2000 by musicians, artist advocates, technologists, and legal experts, the Future of Music Coalition works to ensure that musicians have a voice in the issues that affect their livelihood. FMC’s activities are rooted in real-world experiences and ambitions of working musicians, whose perspectives are often overlooked in policy debates.

Over the years, FMC has provided an important forum for discussion about issues at the intersection of music, technology, policy, and law.

I’ve known about the Future of Music Coalition since 2001 and interviewed two of its co-founders,Jenny Toomey and Michael Bracy for my podcast, Well-Rounded Radio, an interview series featuring musicians and music industry thought leaders.

In 2011 I helped FMC with their Artist Revenue Streams research project, where we asked the question, “How are today’s musician’s earning money?” More than 5,000 US musicians and composers took the survey and the final results have been presented at dozens of music conferences around the world to help people understand changes and trends in how to make a living when making music.

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of working with George Capalbo and Paul Kamp of Backbone Internet Radio on the JP Music Festival, a music festival in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood featuring more than 25 artists. The goal of the festival was to put some of our favorite local musical talent in front of a larger audience, The festival, just in its second year and attracting 1,500 people, was heard by more than 9,000 people over the course of one September day with Backbone’s help.

Working with Boston colleges Emmanuel College Radio and Simmons College Radio and their radio stations to broadcast the concert live, it was also distributed through the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System and TuneIn to reach music fans around the world.

For a tiny, new festival to have this reach was extremely exciting for the festival organizers as well as all the musicians who performed and had the opportunity to reach new ears and fans. It helped get the festival’s brand to a global audience and gave all the participating artists another way to reach potential fans. The webcast also gave our sponsors and underwriters exposure through both the live broadcast and post-event plays.

Given the Future of Music Coalition’s mission “that works to ensure a diverse musical culture where artists flourish, are compensated fairly for their work, and where fans can find the music they want,” we wanted to look at new ways to reach people working in the music industry with this daylong event. Streaming audio from the Summit with Backbone Internet Radio is a terrific way for FMC to do that.

Backbone will help with FMCs streaming the event on November 13th, but they’ve also set up apreview station broadcasting now, which features highlights from past Future of Music Summits to give listeners a sneak preview of the kinds of subjects and ideas to be discussed this year. It was quick and simple to set up the station, using Backbone’s OnAirStudio and OnAirDisplay software.

Ultimately, the Future of Music Coalition is going to reach many more people across the US and through this audio stream, helping the organization to accomplish its mission and goals by educating and inspiring musicians.

The speakers and panels at the Summit will tackle big-picture issues like:

    • new ideas about how musicians are making a living
    • federal policies that impact musicians
    • insights and strategies from music industry insiders

View the full event’s schedule.

It’s a great event for musicians, entrepreneurs, academics, legal professionals, technologists, and media personnel.

Everyone listening to the event from around the US and world can ask questions of our live speakers and panelists via social media, as well via:

Need a reminder? RSVP for the E-Summit on Facebook or sign up for an email reminder from FMC.

Broadcasting the SF Music Tech Summit

sfmusictech2012Today is the SF MusicTech Summit.  It brings together visionaries in the evolving music, business and technology ecosystem, along with the best and brightest developers, entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, journalists, musicians, and organizations who work with them at the convergence of culture and commerce. We meet to do business and discuss, in a proactive, conducive to dealmaking environment.

While Backbone will not physically be there we are working with our friends at TuneIn to “webcast” the event.  Before the event starts we are playing audio from previous events and will switch to live programming when the sessions start.

The event has three tracks and we will be broadcasting all three tracks.  If you want to learn about the how music, technology and business come together TuneIn to this event.

Internet Radio Concert Promotion — 100,000 more attendees, no extra porta-potties

Eighteen years ago this week, in a previous life, George and I helped produce and broadcast Woodstock ’94 (Mudstock), and it was quite an experience, with 350,000 people in attendance. This week, we got to participate in another weekend concert, Outside Lands in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, and I marvel at how differently big events can now be covered.

outsidelands logoAt Woodstock, we had dozens of television trucks and vans with satellite uplinks, requiring connectivity to and between the two stages, which was our primary responsibility as “fiber optic gurus”. For the most part, all of these broadcasters were on site to provide live news feeds for networks and local stations, as well as the occasional celebrity interview.  The complexity and cost was huge, while virtually none of the concert entertainment was broadcast live.

Outside Lands Stage - 2012Fast forward to 2012.  Over the last few months, in partnership with TuneIn, we’ve enjoyed exploring how today’s music festivals can build their reach to a worldwide audience, without breaking the budget of the event promoters.  We started out with New York’s Hot 97 Summer Jam hip hop festival in June, helping Emmis Communications promote the event exclusively on TuneIn radio the week leading up to the concert, then live Internet radio coverage of the show, and then best-of the concert the week following.  It was a major hit.

So, with that success, Emmis decided to do similar promotion for their Power 106 concert in Los Angeles later that month. It, too, was a big success.

That brings us to Outside Lands–August 10-12, 2012.  TuneIn assembled the team for this broadcast, with not only Backbone Networks but also a professional broadcast team with deep experience in branded radio stations, RFC Media from Houston, TX.  Unlike Woodstock, this concert was broadcast live, and it required no trucks, no satellite uplinks and a minimal crew…all with just “a Mac and a mic”.RFC Media Tent - Outside Lands

Results?  It was unquestionably another big success.  While Golden Gate park only holds about 65,000 people for an event like this, through Backbone Internet radio and TuneIn, over 100,000 unique listeners around the world tuned in for nearly half a million listener sessions.  What amazes me is that a regional concert in San Francisco can pull listeners from all over the world, as you can see in the listener cluster “hot spot” map for the concert week (click to enlarge).

Outside Lands Listener MapLike every other business activity, concert promotion has now been changed by the Internet, specifically Internet radio in this case. Going forward, we will learn even more about how to have the greatest impact and highest return on a very small investment.  We’ll share that with you.

Next up for TuneIn, RFC Media and Backbone: The Bumbershoot Music Festival in Seattle on Labor Day Weekend.

Peace, love and radio.