Live365 officially shut down about a year ago. Now, it appears they have returned, under new ownership. Live365 is going to focus on microcasters.
In January of 2016, Live365 was forced to do a massive layoff of employees after running into problems with new regulations that went into affect that month. The Copyright Royalty Board, which establishes the sound recording royalty rates that are paid to copyright holders, raised their rates for 2016. This change took place not long after Live365 lost the support of its investors. The result was that Live365 officially shut down in January of 2016.
Now, about a year later, Live365 has returned. The new owner is Jon Stephenson, who, according to the SharonHerald.com is an entrepreneur who acquired Live365 with plans to re-launch it in 2017.
Jon Stephenson’s Live365 will focus on “microcasters” (or very small radio stations). He told SharonHerald.com: “There’s over 80,000 independent online radio stations and Live365 had about 5,000 of them before they went dark.”
At the time I am writing this blog, Live365 has a waitlist for those who want to reserve their spot. Their pricing plans have been posted:
- Broadcast 1 – from $59 / month, 25GB Storage, 1500 US TLH
- Broadcast 2 – from $99 /month, 50 GB Storage, 3500 US TLH
- Broadcast 3 – from $199 / month, 100 GB Storage, 7000 US TLH
All pricing plans come with unlimited listeners, unlimited bandwidth, and the ability to go live. Music licensing is included. There is a way to monetize your audience and earn revenue. The Live365 website says the following about music licensing: “We cover ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and SoundExchange royalties for US-based listeners. In addition, intuitive reporting and geo-filtering available for International listeners.”
Paul Riismandel, from RadioSurvivor compared Live365’s pricing plan before it closed, to it’s new pricing plan:
By comparison, as recently as July, 2015, the old Live365 charged $39 a month for a similar tier of service that covered music licensing fees, but with 500 fewer listening hours. The new Live365’s $99 a month plan is actually more generous than the old company’s $109 plan, offering 500 more listening hours for $10 less.
Paul Riismandel also has good details about how Live365’s new plan compares with other, similar, services. The big question, of course, is will the new version of Live365 do better than it’s previous incarnation did? We will have to wait and see what happens.
NOTE: This post was edited on January 26, 2017, to correct a typo. The original post stated there were over 800,000 independent online radio stations. That was incorrect. The correct number is 80,000.