The US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) will be deciding the fate of broadcasters’ budgets for the years 2016-2020, as it weighs arguments from SoundExchange and from broadcasters about what the royalty rates should be for webcasters. SoundExchange has proposed an increase from $.0023 per performance to $.0025 in 2016, escalating to $.0029 in 2020. They also urged the CRB to adopt a new formulation, “greater of,” requiring all commercial Internet radio services to pay up to 55% of revenue related to their streaming.
Meanwhile, broadcasters – represented by the NAB and by iHeartMedia – proposed a reduction in the existing royalty rate by 80% (to $0.0005) for the entire 2016-2020 period. The NAB further proposed a flat fee royalty of $500 per year for broadcasters averaging around 100 listeners. Following the trial and final arguments, the Royalty Board will reach a decision by the end of 2015.