When I was a kid I
loved this time of year when the networks would do a year in review.
It is amazing how much change can take place in the span of twelve
months. In 2010, we witnessed many dramatic events unfold. On the
political front we saw change, not the kind offered in the "yes
we can" speech, but in the form of Americans going to the polls
and creating their own kind of change. A late night show host said
it best: the "yes we can" slogan has been replaced by
"thought we could."
2011 is gearing up
to be just as eventful. In the internet streaming and broadcast
industries there will be three key areas to watch, royalty rates,
the growth of mobile streaming and the issue euphemistically named
The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has set rates for webcast
royalties for 2011-2015, covering streamers that are not under one
of the various agreements negotiated last year. Deals were reached
between SoundExchange and the National Association of Broadcasters
(NAB), small webcasters (based on revenue), NPR (by way of the
Corporation for Public Broadcasting), and a group of pureplay
streamers including Pandora. For those not under any of those
agreements, the rates will be $.0019 per performance next year,
$.0021 in 2012 and 2013, and $.0023 in 2014 and 2015. (A performance
is defined as one song streamed to one listener.)
Noncommercial streamers are eligible for an annual $500 minimum per
channel, plus per-performance rates that kick in after 159,140
aggregate tuning hours in a given month. The rates: $.0017 per
performance in 2011, $.0020 in 2012, $.0022 in 2013 and 2014, and
$.0025 in 2015. While the minimum rate and the aggregate tuning
hours (ATH) threshold is the same for noncommercial streamers, the
performance rate for the "heavy hitters" will go up over the next 5
years. These same rates hold for broadcasters that weren't part of
the NAB agreement -- and are the same as for those broadcasters that
did opt in.
On December 21st, the five FCC commissioners are
scheduled to consider a report to adopt basic rules of the road to
"preserve the Internet as an open platform". Sounds great
doesn't it? As with all things involving government it is important
to read the fine print. Net neutrality will allow FCC regulators to
exercise authority over online content. Specifically content that is
deemed by the FCC as "questionable". If the FCC deems a radio
station’s programming to be questionable it can have the online
streams of that station blocked. This should be an area of concern
to anyone in the media industry, or really anyone who values the
principle of free speech as it relates to the internet.
The last area that
we have our eye on in 2011 is mobile streaming technologies. In June
of 2010, AT&T announced that they would be doing away with unlimited
data plans for smart phones. The reason for this is the increase of
mobile apps, specifically ones for streaming radio to mobile
devices. Apple has also instituted new rules for the app market at
the iStore. All companies are struggling to keep up with the
exponentially growing demand of the mobile market. The Droid mobile
device is pushing the marketing of its phones to have foothold in
the industry before 2012 when Verizon will be able to sell and
support iPhones. All in all, the mobile market will be on everyone's
radar, including our friends at CRB who will inevitably try to
impose increasing royalties for mobile music.
Next year as we
approach 2012, I will have to dig this article out to see how close
I was to predicting the top stories in 2011.
David Palmer is co-founder of ChristianNetcast.com. With 20 years
of internet experience, David has assisted ministries in taking
their message global with the ever evolving world of technology.
With over 500 Christian radio stations as clients, ChristianNetcast
has be come a leader in streaming technologies. His goal is to see
Christian broadcasters use every tool available, so that ministries
can have an impact beyond their four walls and zip codes. As
technologies have evolved, David has held the hand of many
ministries as they have watched their church grow to include virtual
congregations. His diverse experience as a Navy Veteran, ordained
Minister and coach have made him a fun and informative speaker at
Universities, high schools and Conventions. David has been featured
on Fox News, 700 Club and TBN .
ChristianNetcast is the parent company of ChristianNetcast.com,
CNC Technologies, MainstreamNetwork and NWR Network.
ChristianNetcast.com was birthed in 1999, in what many would
consider the most unlikely place to establish an internet company.
While many internet startups were based in the Silicon Valley,
ChristianNetcast.com was started in what used to be the lumber
capital of the world, Bangor Maine. Todd VanTasel and David Palmer,
founders of ChristianNetcast.com were attending a local church and
saw the need to have the churches services broadcasted on the
internet. When other ministries learned how the church was using
this new streaming technology, they soon wanted to use the same type
of tools for their church. The word about ChristianNetcast.com
quickly spread and the company began to receive international
recognition and was featured on television and radio programs such
as Fox News, CBN, 700 Club and TBN. In 2006 the company moved its
headquarters to Virginia Beach VA. ChristianNetcast.com currently
serves over 500 ministries worldwide.