4/24/13: Kelly Research launches 20-channel "local" Philly webcaster

Paul Maloney
April 24, 2013 - 12:35pm

Consultant Tom Kelly (Kelly Music Research) has launched an online radio service called iRadioPhilly, focused on the Philadelphia market and the music he says local broadcasters no longer play.

"In our core business - measuring listeners' reactions to music - we couldn't help but notice some holes in the marketplace," Kelly told the Philadelphia Daily News. "There's no '50s- and '60s-focused terrestrial [broadcast] radio station in Philadelphia, serving the music that was the genesis of '[American] Bandstand.' There's no indie-rock channel. No 24-hour classical station. No 24-hour jazz. Nor a station devoted to vocal standards - the Frank Sinatra, Diana Krall, Michael Buble breed of talents."

The twenty-channel service offers more than just what's missing in local radio (Kelly also has CHR, adult alternative, country, and classic rock channels). And it's hit the ground running with mobile and "set-top box" (Sonos, Roku) apps, a social media presence, even iRadioPhilly merchandise for sale.

And being local goes beyond the music, so iRadioPhilly streams feature the voices of former local on-air talent too (Michael Tearson, Mike Bowe, and Bob Craig). One of the service's twenty channels is Y-Not Radio, the webcast created in 2011 to keep alive the sound of the former Y100 alternative rock station (see more here).

There's also "St. Joseph's University basketball games - and local arts, from high school and community-concert broadcasts to streaming of the big evening shows at the Philadelphia Folk Festival," reports the Daily News.

Kelly says he believes there's a future online for radio that broadcasters think isn't viable on the air. Kelly Music Research has registered "iRadio" domain names for the top 50 markets in the country.

Read more in Philly.com here. "Hat-tip" to Tom Taylor Now for this story.

Paul Maloney
April 24, 2013 - 12:35pm

A New York appeals court has ruled that the "safe harbor" provisions of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act do not extend to recordings made before 1972.

The ruling came in an appeal from Universal Music Group of a lower court decision which favored online music service Grooveshark. The service claimed (and was validated, at least at first) that it wasn't liable for user-uploaded pre-1972 sound recordings, as it was protected by the DMCA's "safe harbor" rules (read more here).

However, it's the DMCA which establishes and governs the way digital services (e.g. online radio) pay for the public performance of copyright sound recordings. Might this ruling call into question whether the law truly covers webcasters' use of pre-1972 recordings?

Digital Music News quotes the decision: "The statutory language at issue involves two equally clear and compelling Congressional priorities: to promote the existence of intellectual property on the Internet, and to insulate pre-1972 sound recordings from federal regulation... it is not unreasonable, based on the statutory language and the context in which the DMCA was enacted, to reconcile the two by concluding that Congress intended for the DMCA only to apply to post-1972 works."

We're looking forward to learning whether this decision has any impact on Internet radio. Read Digital Music News coverage here.