Does internet radio need saving?

Recently there's has been a lot being said regarding the RIAA's latest attempt to squeeze more money out of internet radio. This latest attack just highlights the need for people to give these greedy, power-hungry individuals a big F you. The point is missed by many commentators in the blogosphere though. Either out of ignorance or out of a need to cling to the mainstream music-product machine, people tend to think that internet radio needs saving. They think that if online broadcasters are forced offline due to outrageous fees, online radio will just die. This is just not so. I welcome this attack by the powers that be. Let them restrict the broadcast of their music-product. Sure some online broadcasters will be "forced" to cease operations, but only due to their own lack of imagination. You see, there's a revolution brewing and those who cling to the dinosaur that is the major music-industry will not be able to compete against the new crop of online broadcasters who are going to go the CC/open-license route.

There's a world of music available which doesn't cost a dime in licensing costs. A world of musicians and artists who are anxious to have their music promoted by any means necessary. Why should it cost the broadcaster money to promote an artist? It's a ludicrous notion... but yet that's exactly what's expected by the RIAA. This battle will end with the major music-industry wishing that they had done more to work with it's customers/fans rather than against them.

When the majority of listeners are more interested in hearing the latest single/release by their favorite netlabel/online artist than they are Chingy or Fall Out Boy, then we'll know that the tides have changed. We're not there yet... but if the RIAA continues to screw broadcasters/djs/fans, that's exactly what will happen. Personally, I've gone from being a person who would buy many of the latest major music releases weekly to someone who will NOT do so unless I've heard the album first and it's worthy of my $. These releases have gotten to be fewer and fewer since the late '90s. Now I may purchase a release from the majors every few months, if that. I'm more inclined to purchase independent releases. Though with the variety of net audio increasing, I'm finding that my need to purchase anything from a retail outlet has been decreasing to nearly zero. Like an addiction, I've slowly been weaning myself off the drug. I'd much rather make a donation to a netlabel or net artist for the great music that they're freely providing.

I consider myself lucky to be living through and observing the most beautiful war that there's ever been. A musical war... one in which the fans are ultimately going to win... one in which MUSIC will ultimately win... one in which the RIAA will ultimately lose.

Thanks for listening. Enjoy netBloc Volume 3.

Mike Gregoire