Those of you who read bit-tech
regularly are pretty well aware of my stance
on the RIAA's recent price hikes for internet radio. But, as usual, it appears that the organisation is throwing logic to the winds and proceeding with the hikes anyway. Of course, they'll probably lose a lot of royalties when no songs play on Tuesday
Tuesday, June 26th, has officially been set as a protest date for Internet radio broadcasters. Dubbed the "Day of Silence," many of the most popular net radio stations will go dark - at least on the music end.
stations will participate in the protest, including the extremely popular Yahoo Music. Other big names on the bill (which was organised by the head of AccuRadio) are Live 365 Inc and the incredibly brilliant Pandora Media. If you haven't given Pandora a try, I'd highly recommend you do - on any day but Tuesday, of course.
The term "silence" isn't entirely accurate - one station is planning on hosting a one hour discussion between several heads of the Internet radio industry as they explain why this rate hike is bad for pretty much everyone but the RIAA. That interview will play on a loop for the whole day, and will be linked to by some other stations as well.
What is even more interesting is which companies aren't
participating, though the list is rather unsurprising. AOL (which is now a fully-owned subsidiary of Time Warner, an RIAA affiliate) has chosen to decline the protest, citing it as an unnecessary reason to interrupt good service to customers. Media advertising mogul ClearChannel has also been waffling, though I would be willing to bet that it too will decline.
No matter what, it's pretty clear that the RIAA's determination is being matched with some equal effort from Internet radio. Who will win? Only time will tell, but you can place your bets in our forums