Long-running Internet radio service Live365 may be in its last days. The news came without warning over the weekend as the company was forced into a massive layoff of employees. Live365’s troubles were set off by new regulations that take affect this month. Those regulations, enforced by the Copyright Royalty Board, change how music royalties are calculated for Internet radio broadcasters. From a Live365 press release:
Recently, the Copyright Royalty Board, the governing entity for establishing the sound recording royalty rates that are paid to copyright holders, has published the new rates for 2016-20. The previous provisions for small webcasters to opt for a percentage of revenue model were not renewed. The current provisions end at the end of 2015. The absence of this license will make legally streaming copyrighted musical content prohibitively expensive for many small to mid-sized Internet broadcasters. Live365 relies on this license for many of their broadcast partners and, as such, has hard decisions to make regarding their future in the streaming industry.
Before these changes came into place, Live365 could make its royalty payments based on a percentage of the company’s revenue. It looks like Internet radio stations that play copyrighted music will now have to pay some sort of flat rate or per-song fee, regardless of revenue. Considering Live365 hosts thousands of small stations, a change like this would be devastating.
To make matters worse, Live365 also lost all of its financial backers:
Two weeks ago, Live365 faced an additional blow, losing the support of its investors who have helped the company with its mission for over a decade. The company was forced to significantly reduce staff and is now actively looking for partners to help continue the service into 2016.
It’s unclear if those investors backed out due to the upcoming royalty rate changes or if something else scared them off. For now, Live365 is still in operation. The company is being run by a small team and its CEO is actively looking for new investors.
15 thoughts on “Live365 May be Shutting Down”
This is a complete heartbreak for me. I have been streaming through Live365.com since May 2001. My domain is Blues-Radio.com.
Starting as a free streaming service, I started paying a monthly fee when the policy change. I don’t make any money off the station. In fact I pay out of my pocket to “Turn the World onto the Blues.”
Live365.com Director of Broadcasting, Dean Kattari emphasized the potential loss of unique musical variety:
“The true value of Live365 lies in it’s diversity of content – it’s a sanctuary where you can hear music and other content that it so unlike the template broadcasting that is heard on most radio. These stations are the hard work of real human beings who use Live365 to share their vision with the world. It’s a home for musical discovery because many of these stations play emerging artists that terrestrial stations are reluctant to take a chance on. It would be a great loss for this to all go away.”
This is so true of my situation,
Please help keep Live365.com,
http://www.blues-radio.com – http://www.live365.com/stations/bluesradio
Hi Joe, I’m a Live365 subscriber who has your Blues Radio station as one of my Favorites (in fact I’m listening to it right now :). Thank you for your music, it’s great! I hope if Live365 doesn’t make it that listeners can find you some other way.
The mammoth monsters in the music and television industry are slowly killing off any quality competition from small entities that offer something different, or better, than what they offer. They killed “Grooveshark”, now they are targeting “Live365”. Don’t think that “Pandora” and many others are in their cross hairs. They pay ridiculous amounts of money to the ‘acts’ that they support and they can’t have ‘the little people’ proving that quality broadcasting can be done by someone other than them. I imagine the anti-poaching, wage-fixers, like Disney, Sony, Dreamworks and others are behind the assault.
Well said, Joe…
I have two Sony VAIO’s , one of which runs nearly 24/7 on ‘Whisperings’ Solo Piani Radio and the other on either Salsa or Reggae…we have diversified genre tastes in our house. I was not tracking the news so was shocked when I turned on one of my boxes Saturday and the voice said ‘this station is unavailable at this time – please try again later’ then I started Googl’n…OMG, what now…dump my internet radio Sony VAIO boxes in the trash? Is there a viable alternative to Live365 or do I just pray for return of Live365, the giant that rocks?
Semper Fi! JP…
Wow! I have used live365 since 2006 and it has been one of the best investments for my music.
I am so sorry to hear about this 🙁
I agree with you sentiments 100%. My ChristmasRadio.com site has been broadcasting with Live365 for 15 years, but has never turned a profit, which obviously would have been nice, but was not my main purpose with the station. I was proud of the fact that I could share my love of Holiday music, including allowing folks to discover large amount of independant artist, who submit music to me every year. I can afford doing what I’m doing now, but the pending price hike would be prohibitive for me and, I’m sure, for most other Live365 broadcasters who don’t have the resources of Apple and the like. So sad….
I have been utilizing Live365’s Pro plan since 2009 and like many of you, I had no idea Live365 was shutting down until a couple days ago. You would think they would have the decency to notify their broadcasters (whose money they have collected) of there issue. However, I guess that’s asking too much professionalism. I haven’t been happy with Live365’s lack of technical advancement and have been seeking an alternative streaming service. Sadly, I’ve only found one other company that covers licensing/royalties and I’m on the fence about them. Since giving up on my station is not an option, I may resort to applying for my own license.
Which company is it
I am a New Zealand smooth jazz fan and I have been listening to live 365 since the early 2000s. Hope you can obtain the financial support you need and continue indefinitely.
You would be sadly missed.
I never profited from my Live365 station, either — never even came close to breaking even — but I loved sharing pop and jazz from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s with people. My station’s still streaming, for some reason (I though the plug would be pulled on January), and I’m frantically looking for alternatives. I’ve heard from many of my listeners and it’s been quite gratifying to hear how much they’ve appreciated the station and the music we play.
Wondering if you’ve found a legitimate alternative to Live365? I’m on the hunt as well. Thanks!
we are setting up many, many former live365 clients on our network. we can get you set up immediately with no down time.
for information on how to transfer your streams over, call 1+954-481-9402, or visit http://www.cir.st for assistance.
securenet has the highest-rated streaming codecs and universal HTM5 players. we also share ad revenue with all out ad network participants.
we are here to help you!
Inner Journey streamed 8 hours of Sam Utah improvisations for 11 years. I was happy to pay the small fees Live265 charged as a broadcaster and as a VIP listener. As of this month Inner Journey had about 1800 presets – not bad for a boutique synth station with a unique flavor. I do not see another provider out there with as good a brand as Live365 for the little guy. The user interface – Studio365 was easy to work and the simplicity of everything worked well for me. I wish someone would take the technology and reuse it for non copywrite streamers like myself. I own every note that goes out and I pay to broadcast my own compositions. Looking for another provider….recommendations?
I’m not a broadcaster, although I’d love to be. I feel bad for those being displaced by what the investors and management of Live365 is doing to small radio broadcasters. I understand broadcasters are also looking into SHOUTcast, Radionomy, StreamLicensing, and others. I wish you well, and hope everyone can get “back on the air” soon.
This is a great lost!!
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