Thursday, 12 April, 2001

Union Forces an end to Web Casting

The New York Post ran an article yesterday describing how many radio stations have stopped webcasting because the American Federation of TV and Radio Artists is demanding additional commercial talent fees.  Stations that have stopped web streaming transmissions include all 1,170 Clear Channel stations.  Who is to blame is anybody's guess.  The station owners are doubtless accusing the AFTRA for wanting more money for the same amount of work, and the AFTRA is accusing the station owners of not sharing profits.  This is starting to sound like the conflict between authors and publishers over Internet publishing rights.  My friend Jeff Duntemann wrote a very good piece about that in his web diary last month.

This isn't the only problem faced by Internet radio broadcasts.  Most radio advertisement is local in nature, and advertisers (who ultimately pay for commercial radio broadcasts) aren't willing to pay higher rates for advertisements that are broadcast to a wider audience (as required by most advertising contracts) if that audience isn't interested in their products.  Discount Furniture in Atlanta probably doesn't care that people in Seattle can hear their advertisements.