I’ve been looking at my logs to see how much webcasting would cost under the new Copyright Royalty Board Rates. The new rates are $0.0017 per song, per listener. So if one song is played, and that one song had 100 people listening, it would cost $0.0017/listener times 100 listeners, which is $0.17 (seventeen cents). An hour has approximately 14 songs in it, so an hour of webcasting to 100 people would be $2.38 per hour. Now multiple those figures by 24 hours in a day. And then 30 days in a month. At 100 listeners every hour, in one month, the total would be: $1,713.60. Does all that make sense? The per performance royalty rates get large very quickly.
OK, here are real numbers, from my network of stations. I’m still crunching numbers, but since most of my stations are Christmas-themed, most of my listening occurs between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. I won’t have detailed stats on December 2015 until some time in 2016, so this is what happened last year, the calendar month of December 2014.
There were 3,583 different songs played across my stations in December 2014, with a total of 4,101,098 performances. Some songs were played on smaller stations and only had a handful of listeners. Some songs were played on the flagship station and so were heard by several thousand people simultaneously. Multiple the number of performances (4,101,098) times the cost of each performance ($0.0017) and you get a royalty bill for December 2014 of $6,971.87.
The VIP referral awards, listener awards, and ads on the Christmas Music 24/7 web site don’t come anywhere close to earning nearly $7,000, plus whatever other royalties wold have been due for January through November. Niche webcasters simply can’t afford these rates.