East Village Radio has been a staple of Manhattan’s East Village for the past 11 years. The online station broadcasts from an iconic window-fronted space, giving a clear view to everything going on inside.
EVR has a roster of great programming, including shows by FACT Magazine and Brooklyn Vegan’s Invisible Oranges blog. Noteworthy guests are always rolling through the station. Connan Mockasin, Bo Ningen, Black Francis, Tove Lo, and Claude VonStroke have all stopped in recently.
But in a week and a half all of this will be over. East Village Radio is shutting down for good on Friday, May 23rd.
The reason? EVR blames the DMCA.
The station has over one million listeners a month, and they have to pay a digital performance royalty for every listener. CEO Frank Prisinzano tells EV Grieve it was going to be “very, very difficult” for them to keep breaking even. “The model is untenable. It just doesn’t work. It’s the system’s fault. There isn’t any legislation that will ever be written without someone lobbying for it. We can’t afford lobbyists.”
Peter Ferraro, General Manager / Head of Programming, says EVR pays higher royalty and licensing rates than Pandora.
“We live in a world where these behemoth music-streaming services keep going in for more capital… It’s almost like we are being penalized for our growth… It’s very difficult for an independent medium music company to survive in a world where Apple is paying $3.2 billion for Beats by Dre.”
The station’s heads have no interest in selling to a media or VC company, as keeping the station both focused on the neighborhood and globally minded was always the goal.
Prisinzano plans to raise capital and come up with a new idea.
Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u
Photo is by Joseph Holmes and used with the Creative Commons License