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Suw Charman-Anderson

Suw Charman-Anderson

Suw Charman-Anderson is a social software consultant and writer who specialises in the use of blogs and wikis behind the firewall. With a background in journalism, publishing and web design, Suw is now one of the UK’s best known bloggers, frequently speaking at conferences and seminars.

Her personal blog is Chocolate and Vodka, and yes, she’s married to Kevin.

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Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson is a freelance journalist and digital strategist with more than a decade of experience with the BBC and the Guardian. He has been a digital journalist since 1996 with experience in radio, television, print and the web. As a journalist, he uses blogs, social networks, Web 2.0 tools and mobile technology to break news, to engage with audiences and tell the story behind the headlines in multiple media and on multiple platforms.

From 2009-2010, he was the digital research editor at The Guardian where he focused on evaluating and adapting digital innovations to support The Guardian’s world-class journalism. He joined The Guardian in September 2006 as their first blogs editor after 8 years with the BBC working across the web, television and radio. He joined the BBC in 1998 to become their first online journalist outside of the UK, working as the Washington correspondent for

And, yes, he’s married to Suw.

E-mail Kevin.

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Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

The day the (internet) music died?

Posted by Kevin Anderson

Pandora goes silentSuw and I listen to lots of podcasts and online radio and use services like Pandora and We are supporters of Soma FM because we love the music especially Secret Agent. But today, Pandora, Soma and a host of other online radio sites including heavy hitters like MTV Radio, Launchcast, Real’s Rhapsody and Live365 are silent. Why? They might be priced out of the market by dramatic changes in music licencing.

As Rusty says on the Soma FM site:

Royalty rates for webcasters have been drastically increased by a
recent ruling and are due to go into effect on July 15 (retroactive to
Jan 1, 2006!). SomaFM will be liable for $600,000 in additional
royalties for 2006, and over $500,000 for the first half of 2007. As of
July 15th, we will owe $1.1 million dollars in additional royalties.

Tim Westergreen at Pandora put it this way:

Ignoring all rationality and responding only to the lobbying of the
RIAA, an arbitration committee in Washington DC has drastically
increased the licensing fees Internet radio sites must pay to stream
songs. Pandora’s fees will triple, and are retroactive for eighteen
months! Left unchanged by Congress, every day will be like today as
internet radio sites start shutting down and the music dies.

This Day of Silence is similar to another successful event in 2002 that led to the Small Webcaster Settlement Act for the period of 1998-2005.

When I first heard about this proposed rate increase, I thought back to something that Ben Hammersley said at the Guardian Changing Media conference earlier this year that entertainmentt industry was acting like someone who had just got a Valentine’s card from their lover (music and movie fans) and was ripping that card up in her face.

I’m a music fan, not a thief. I pay for music, and the music industry is yet again punishing me, a music fan. What business survives and thrives by protecting a business model by punishing the very fans that support that business model? Loyal fans will travel hundreds of miles for a concert, hunt through stacks of vinyl for that out of print record and pay money for music. Fans might not pay the margins for a download that the music industry was used to in the era of the CD, but that is an issue of margins, not passion.

But after covering the music industry years, I don’t see them letting go anytime soon. Hey, compadres back in the States, go ahead and send your member of Congress a loud and clear message. A little democracy in action. It worked back in 2002, and hopefully, it will work again. If it doesn’t, it won’t be just one day of radio silence on the internet.

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2 Responses to “The day the (internet) music died?”

  1. your wiki guide Says:

    It’s only now that I realize how much these online streaming radios pay for us to listen to their offered music for free. I may not have the same mind of businessmens but I think these online radios are still doing the music industry a favor. I just hope that everything will be heard to fight for that little right…

  2. Jack Smythers Says:

    I find it disgusting that the RIAA tries so hard to control what we hear. I hate commercial music stations and their EXTREMELY limited music. Internet radio allowed variety. Commercial AM/FM and satellite radio should pay the same rates ae everyone else.

    Oh well on July 15th I’ll start listening to non-USA streaming radio, AND I’LL STOP BUYING CDS and iTunes songs.

    The RIAA is KILLING MUSIC. This useless organization should go away.