Live365 is now preparing to completely shut down at the end of January, thanks to a rise in rates set by US Copyright Royalty Board.
The internet radio streaming platform is blaming the recent webcasting rates for their closure, as they were reliant upon the previously-established, lower rates for small broadcasters. The new small webcaster rates for 2016-2020 will require a minimum annual payment of $2,000 for webcasters earning less than $50,000 a year. There is also a $500 annual micro-caster rate schedule for those earning under $5,000 in revenues, lower than $10,000 in expenses, and fewer than 18,000 listener-hours per year.
Live365 was launched in 1999 in California, and an early pioneer in the streaming radio space. The streaming platform features a wide range of 5,000+ internet radio stations covering various music genres as well as news and talk stations. “These stations are the hard work of real human beings who use Live365 to share their vision with the world,” said Dean Kattari, director of broadcasting for Live365.
“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”.
After the ruling, Live365 management were reportedly looking for new business partners in order to move forward. Those efforts proved unsuccessful, and the company quickly lost investors. The platform has already moved forward with the closure and sources have revealed that the company has already laid off most of its staff.
The management of Live365 said in an email to its members, published by BetaNews, that the service will shut down on January 31st. “We are sad that we are closing our doors at the end of this month,” the company shared.