It shall come as a contradiction, but in truth the significance of owning a streaming radio station has shifted to a lesser relevant purpose with the passing of years. The competition nowadays has overwhelmingly ousted as thousands of green streaming sources appeared and service providers grew affordable by providing everyone with the utmost opportunity to sustain and nurture a playlist or an on air live streaming radio show at ease. But is it viable, or do we need so many radios online? The answer remains debatable.
It might sway that owning a radio streaming is a reliable investment, and the delight of having a playlist online accessible through a vast summit of listeners may result in honest recognition, notwithstanding on a practical point of perspective, it might not be the case. Just like it happens with the increasingly unbalanced amount of heavy metal blogs that populate the internet with content that anyhow becomes irrelevant due to the competition, as they grow lost in the extremely high outlay of several others that most reasonable, target the very same artists, releases or reviews, with search engines giving more pertinence to who was the first to publish, and to those that have their own domain name and not a blog hosted under a subdomain.
The same happens with audio streaming, where the competition is vicious and ruthless. Nevertheless, there is also another important factor following this reality that is not often disclosed behind online radio streaming sources, which regards to illicit streaming. Most radio stations online are not providing to the artists a legit document that yields them the permission to stream their tracks, oftentimes the selection of said records is entirely of the responsibility of whoever manages the playlists, which without disdain elects what goes into the playlist without much of an endeavor. As long as it keeps the playlist interesting and appealing to its listeners, it is therefore, viable.
This pragmatic tactic seems to work while valuing underground acts, those that seek promotion without entirely acknowledging that their copyright was transgressed, although, the same cannot be said of most traditional artists who in most of the occurrences, are totally unaware of their tracks being streamed by said metal supporting radio stations. Radio stations that often consist of somebody in their living room uploading their most recent tracks to a recently invigorated playlist. The omission results in the radio streaming popularity, and hardly, on the sale of the station’s merchandise, notwithstanding, reverting in no royalties toward the artists that capture the listener’s attention toward the streaming source. Frankly speaking, online radio stations obtain either a small fraction of profit by selling merchandise to be supported while in counterpart they fail miserably to support those that helped them to gain attention.
Another inconsistency respecting radio stations online minds is their licensing, which often consists of an online streaming license purchase in which the legalization of said stream remains questionable, as well as the license itself which sedately covers the United States soil despite the contradictions. Those licenses are possible for a very low fee and the authenticity of the radio station as a sole registered company is not established, suggesting anyone can purchase the licence independently or not, of running a pirated omen.
Recently, Norway settled that it was time to outlaw all audio streaming from their dominion and grant rights to stream to only those that do a certain extent have a physical radio station that functions in a legal demeanor while funding their staff. Their strategy to what they consider, a syndication of radio stations aiming to thwart piracy seems preferably contradictory and retrograde. Still, we have the obligation to acknowledge that it is indeed, a decent design if we take into evidence that most of the streamings we can find are sustainable by volunteers. Fans that spend endless hours working without noticeable income while radio station proprietors often retain any profitable income raised from merchandise. The Norwegian proposal is due to take effect this mid-year, and other European nations are inclined to follow the pilot.
The benefit is moreover apparent, as radio stations will be required to provide equally to their volunteers with funded status as competently obtainable proper equipment and facilities to operate, and by legally registering their endeavors. It will devise new job positions, and sweeten the transition from crude streams toward professional ones, providing the listeners with more quality and lesser noise. In counterparts, it will have a bittersweet acceptance, as many will not be willing to embark on such venture and will as a consequence, see their demise.
My posture toward the proposed legislation, from a practical point of view but also a political one, is of total acceptance. On my everyday routine, I meet in abundance audio streams from said radio stations that in little differ from one another, lack substance or are coated with noise to the point of annoyance. The scene requires professionalism as the listeners keep evolving, but the audio streams merely follow the trend. It may cause the comedown of diverse radio stations, although communication managers should have been prepared for something similar in many years in advance, as the future promises to legislate every action online as the internet keeps providing the platforms to grow a business, and syndicalists, even somehow interpreted in most occasions as leeches, are indeed concerned with the balance between amateurish broadcasters and those that work on the field as a profession to support their families.
It does transmit an extensive margin of thought if we admit that what we do for the sheer passion for music is undoubtedly affecting those that also do it for financial stability, yet keeping the same passion alive.
This month, and as a consequence of the new legislation, as part of a competently thoughtful reevaluation regarding our radio stream, we have debated and agreed on closing down our streaming server until we do not provide to our team with a proper FM studio, by the time reactivating the online stream as a compulsory complement to the physical station, and not solemnly as the only resource regarding our radio operations. It has become apparent to us that the individuals involved in the radio deserve their due payment for their dedication, moreover, a studio to work together and consequently, evolve professionally as a team.
I sincerely hope my words do not go out in vain and may somehow, fashion a professional scene by respecting those that spend countless hours working for one exclusive goal. I would be more than thrilled to see an uprising of new radios, FM, which indeed, would contribute toward the musicians as much as they contribute to the radios.