The Forty Dollar Question

Gene Avatar

I mentioned yesterday that there was an option for BlackLight Radio to begin streaming again, though YouTube.

Today, I thought I would detail what that would look like, and what we need.

The reason we don’t stream audio anymore is because the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the related laws that were later passed, require so high of a royalty fee that is no way for us to even cover our costs.

That is even after ad insertion by a national advertising agency… the money in just can’t keep up with the royalty fees out.

Additionally, the way the laws are structured, the larger the listening audience, the larger the royalty fee… so even if you get more listeners and get more advertising dollars, the royalty fees make sure you can NEVER get ahead.

It’s the reason that iHeartRadio and Pandora, both wildly popular streaming audio services, are on the brink of bankruptcy and shutting down.

We’ve been streaming in one form or another since December of 1999, and we’ve lost money every single month we streamed.

We had always hoped the rates would at some point brought down to a reasonable level, but instead they have been increased, guaranteeing financial failure for anyone trying to legally run a business off of internet radio streaming.

YouTube operates a little differently.

I’m certain that they are paying significant royalties, but I get the impression they are negotiating directly with the copyright holders for lower rates.

The result is that in many cases I’m sure they are paying much less for certain songs; in other cases, the song is excluded from their service.

The important part to us is that they don’t charge us to stream songs they have licensed.

The only caveat is that they won’t allow us to monetize our live stream if we are playing copyrighted songs (which of course every hit song of the 80s is) and the copyright owners CAN run ads and make money off of our stream.

In other words: we can’t MAKE money on the stream, but we don’t LOSE money, either.

This would be the first time in 18 years we would break even!

That’s a deal I’ll take every time; this station is a labor of love, anyway, so I certainly don’t mind spending the time as long they’re not charging us money.

There are two issues with streaming on YouTube: first, as mentioned there as songs they won’t allow us to stream.

The result is that about 25% of our music library can’t be streamed to YouTube.

Don’t worry, though, as there are still a ton of amazing 80s hits that YouTube has licensed and we can stream without problem.

Second, we need to use a dedicated encoding computer to send the stream to YouTube and while I have a computer I can dedicate to this effort, it does not have the capability to run the encoding software.

We have $20 in donations in PayPal currently.

With $40 more, we can get a video card that will allow us to stream live to YouTube 24/7.

I check daily to see if anyone has given any money through the PayPal button to the right of this article.

I’ll give you more details about the video card requirements, and the card we’re looking to purchase, next time.

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