Since the royalty rate hike was announced, I’ve been asking myself why I put out the cash for tomorrowJazz Radio. I don’t make money on it, and haven’t tried. I don’t know if I can call it a hobby since I don’t have a mixing board, good mic, dayparts, or other features/programming that would make it more “radio-like.” I’ve found the answer and I’ve actually known it all along. It’s a passion. I can’t help myself. I am compelled to share what I enjoy.
In Live365’s early days, I had a station called JazzPlus, for contemporary jazz listeners. I didn’t promote it much – the thrill came from hearing what I enjoyed out there for anyone to hear. After taking time away from my jazzy online efforts, I felt the need to share again. Writing on my web site was fine, but sometimes words couldn’t convey the musical experience. Music has to be heard. I could have put up a station in a number of ways, but Live365 made it easiest for me to play what I wanted to play and ensure that artists are legally compensated.
tomorrowJazz Radio has been playing acid jazz, nu jazz, jazzy house, contemporary jazz, and any jazzy-sounding music I like for three years. There is no terrestrial station that plays this type of music every hour of every day, every day of the year in the States. People who enjoy this kind of music can only hear it on Internet radio. I have satellite radio and you can only hear a bit of this music. There are thousands of different types of Internet stations that can copy and paste those last three sentences and use it to describe their station. They are all in jeopardy. This is the greatest revolution in music since music could first be recorded. No other time has any type of music been available to any type of listener so easily. At no other time could an independent artist get his or her music heard globally. If major corporations are the only ones who can afford Internet radio, who will play them? An important and proven avenue for exposure is taken away from them.
At risk is your ability to choose the music you want to hear. If this rate hike is not lifted, only the richest companies will be able to provide Internet radio. Do you think they’ll care about tiny niche genres that garner maybe only a few hundred listeners? Think about the unlimited selection of music you can listen to now on Internet radio. Don’t let your freedom to choose whatever music you want to hear be taken away.