By now, anyone who cares about it has probably heard about the appeals falling through on the Copyright Royalty Board's ridiculous fee increases. Being a podcaster, I should care more about this, right? Well, I've been doing a lot of thinking and, well, maybe this isn't such a bad thing for the listening public. Internet radio listeners, like podcast listeners, represent a pretty small percentage of the audio 'cast listening audience as a whole, but those listeners are more cutting edge than your average listener, and their number are growing. Independent musicians have yet another big chance to get more ears listening to their music, a good portion of which is far better than the stuff doled out by the name brand acts.
Independent Musicians: Get your music available on services like the Podsafe Music Network and IODA's Promonet. Contact podcasters and Internet Radio shows and allow them to play your songs fee-free.
Internet Radio Stations: Go podsafe, guys! Don't let the Big Guys run you out of town! There are bands that want the airplay; there are tons of amazing acts that want more promotion! And it isn't like the little guys will see a dime of those increased fees. Okay, maybe just a dime. Sure, it'll be tough at first, but look at the DJs of yore--great radio is about finding the next big act and exposing it to the world with personality. Are you leaders or followers?
Listeners: Support the independents! If you hear a song on a podsafe show that you like, go see them live. Buy their CDs at the shows and when you get that CD signed by the artist, tell them you heard their song on an Internet Radio Station or a podcast.
The Recording Industry is broken and, no matter how well-meaning they are, applying H.R. & S. Band-Aids aren't going to make the bones heal. The only thing that'll help will be "casts"--podcasts, shoutcasts, and Net Radio Stations.