Internet radio hangs in the balance, webcasters say, but the Senate Commerce Committee, which holds radio hearings today, can save it by reviving bills setting royalty rates for online broadcasters as low as satellite radio's. Legislators introduced the bills this spring, the Post explains, when the Copyright Royalty Board jacked up web rates, but ultimately told the sides to negotiate.
Those negotiations have gone nowhere, the Net radio companies say. “We made a royalty rate proposal on Aug. 23, and we have not heard a reply back,” said one executive. Webcasters want to be on equal footing with satellite and terrestrial radio – which pays no royalties. “There needs to be parity if we are going to survive,” said one Pandora strategist.