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Arbitron to Congress: Delay Streaming Fees

Arbitron to Congress: Delay Streaming Fees

Arbitron Inc. believes there should be a 5-year moratorium on royalties for streaming media. The audience research firm has given Congress reasons why its members should oppose the digital rights fees recommended by the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel.
“We foresee that the impact of these fees will dramatically reduce the consumer’s choice of streaming content, limit the diversity of streaming ‘voices’ on the Internet, stifle competition among content providers and impede the growth of a popular new medium,” wrote Bill Rose, vice president and general manager, Arbitron Webcast Services, in letters to members of Congress.
To demonstrate how harmful the CARP recommendation would be, Rose calculated the royalty fees a top-rated music station in New York, a top-rated national radio network and the radio industry as a whole would have to pay if their Internet listeners equaled the size of their over-the-air audience.
He found that the digital fees for a New York music station would total nearly $15 million a year and represent more than a quarter of what the station currently derives from traditional over-the-air advertising revenue. The national network faired even worse with $358 million in royalty fees that would equal approximately 39 percent of the entire radio network advertising industry revenue.
The digital rights fees for the entire radio industry, Rose determined, would be approximately $2.4 billion dollars, an amount equal to “approximately 13 percent of radio’s total advertising revenue for 2001.”