Entercom

Entercom to use "social radio" Jelli service on 101 stations

Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 11:45am

"Social radio" tech provider Jelli has a new deal putting Jelli on 104 Entercom Communications radio stations in 23 markets.

When stations incorporate the Jelli technology, listeners influence what's played by voting for music -- as a sort of "game" -- via the web or mobile apps. Jelli says its "advertising platform enables real-time ad serving and listener engagement across social, mobile and broadcast platforms, creating unique insights for advertisers." Last fall (see RAIN here) Jelli began allowing stations to use only its ad-serving feature.

Jelli is on more than 175 radio stations in more than 50 markets nationwide.

Entercom, Glassnote Group swap on-air royalties for streaming discount

Monday, December 10, 2012 - 12:30pm

Here's yet another "marketplace deal" that has a major U.S. broadcaster paying a label an on-air royalty in exchange for decreased streaming royalties. Glassnote Entertainment Group, an independent label and sound recording copyright owner now has a deal with broadcast radio group Entercom Communications.

As the announcement is phrased, Glassnote will "directly participate, along with its artists, in Entercom's over-the-air broadcast radio revenues."

As we've reported, U.S. radio broadcasters aren't required to pay royalties to the owners of sound recording copyrights for on-air play -- but do pay owners and performers for online plays. Obviously, the music industry and performers want to get paid for on-air use of their copyright recordings. At the recent Internet Radio Fairness Act House Judiciary subcommittee hearing, Hubbard Radio President/CEO Bruce Reese (who also represented the National Association of Broadcasters) was pressed repeatedly on radio's broadcast exemption when it comes to sound recording royalties (our coverage is here). Reese responded by saying he would look for more deals in the marketplace that would get copyright owners paid. He was nearly certainly referring to deals such as today's.

Entercom has a similar deal with the Big Machine Label Group (our coverage here). Glassnote (and Big Machine, for that matter) also have similar deals with Clear Channel (coverage here and here).

Glassnote artists include Phoenix, The Temper Trap, Two Door Cinema Club, and Mumford and Sons (pictured).

Clear Channel last week announced a deal of this type with DashGo (here). Clear Channel also has an agreement with classical label Naxos.

CC deals with labels might provide marketplace benchmark for more equitable CRB royalty rates

Monday, October 1, 2012 - 4:55pm

"In setting (webcast royalty) rates, the (Copyright Royalty Board) looks to establish rates that reflect what a willing buyer and a willing seller pay in the marketplace. In past royalty proceedings, that willing-buyer, willing-seller price had to be estimated, as there were no real deals to use as a benchmark. And the estimates all went against webcasters. With a deal like that with Big Machine... the pro-record company outcome of the CRB proceedings may well be changed if these deals can be shown to be representative of the real value of the public performance of the sound recording."

That's industry attorney David Oxenford's take-away from recent "direct deals" between broadcasters and record label for both terrestrial and digital sound recording royalties (the latest of which involved Clear Channel and Glassnote Entertainment, covered in RAIN here).

Copyright Royalty Board judges, per the 1998 DMCA, don't set royalties considering the fairness and "mimimal disruption" of their decision (as is called for in the Copyright Act's "801(b)" standard, which is used in royalty determinations for other forms of digital radio). They are mandated to set a rate at what they think a "willing buyer" would pay and what a "willing seller" would accept. Critics point to this different and unpredictable standard as the reason Internet royalty has been saddled with sound recording royalties that, as a percentage of revenue, are many multiples of those paid by satellite and cable radio. It's also the impetus behind the recent Internet Radio Fairness Act, introduced to both chambers of Congress (in RAIN here).

Oxenford is suggesting that should deals like Clear Channel's and Entercom's (both groups have reached agreeements with Big Machine Records) start to spread to other companies, they could very well represent the "marketplace" agreements with willing buyers and willing sellers that could set "a precedent for lower royalties in future proceedings."

The next round of proceedings to set webcasting royalties starts in 2014 (to set the rates for 2016-2020).

Read Oxenford, a D.C.-based partner at Wilkinson Barker Knauer, in Broadcast Law Blog here.

Like CC, Entercom will now pay label Big Machine for on-air plays in exchange for lower streaming fees

Thursday, September 20, 2012 - 10:55am

Now a second broadcaster, Entercom Communications, has made an agreement with record label Big Machine to pay a percentage of ad revenue royalty on over-the-air plays of Big Machine recordings in exchange for lower streaming royalties.

In June Clear Channel and Big Machine announced a similar deal (coverage here), perhaps signalling Clear Channel's understanding that (a) online streaming will soon be a far larger part of its business than it is today; and (b) it's likely that broadcast radio's exemption from sound recording royalties days are numbered.

"As great and leading visionaries in the broadcast world continue to look into the future they are seeing where listeners are going in regards to how radio is being used now and where and how it will be used in the very near future," Big Machine president Scott Borchetta said. His company, an independent label with acts like country stars Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, and Reba McEntire, announced at the RAB NAB Radio Show in Dallas today its agreement with Entercom, owner of more than 100 stations in 23 U.S. markets.

Terrestrial broadcasters pay royalties amounting to a small percentage of their revenues to the composers and publishers of music. Congress has not mandated broadcasters pay for the use of copyright sound recordings, a fact that's long angered the record industry.

Internet radio, while paying similar compostion/publishing royalties as broadcasters, is required to pay sound recording copyright owners royalties that -- if not for emergency deals that temporarily reduced the rate the government set -- would have amounted to multiples of even the most successful webcaster's annual revenue.

Pandora founder Tim Westergren pointed to the Clear Channel/Big Machine agreement at the time as "evidence that even for a company of Clear Channel’s size and business competence, they are realizing that Internet radio is a tough business... I feel like it’s just one more signal that something is broken in the royalty rate setting for Internet radio." Westergren had addressed (here) the "Future of Audio" House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing right after the Clear Channel deal was announced.

Apparently, CBS Radio has no plans to make any such agreements with labels. At the Radio Show, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, said, "The idea that we have to pay them to put their music on our radio stations is absurd."

Read more in The New York Times here.

TuneIn adds Entercom, Cox, Emmis stations to tuning service

Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 12:40pm

TuneIn will add the streams of the more than two hundred stations owned by Entercom, Cox, and Emmis with a trio of agreements announced today.

TuneIn aggregates Internet radio streams for consumers (and maintains tuning softward for device makers) on its website and mobile apps, making available more than 70-thousand broadcast and Internet radio stations and more than two million on-demand programs from all over the world.

Just yesterday (see RAIN here) Cox and Emmis announced a similar partnership with Clear Channel, making their streams available on the iHeartRadio tuning platform (Entercom, for its part, does not make its 111 stations' streams available on iHeartRadio).

Stations report listeners getting more comfortable with "time-shifting" content

Friday, April 6, 2012 - 1:05pm

WEEI's on-demand content browserRadio listeners increasingly want to consume media on their own schedule. Inside Radio reports today on several radio stations that are offering on-demand, "time-shifted" content -- and finding success.

Entercom Boston sports station WEEI, for example, has seen a 20% growth in on-demand audio consumption compared to last year. The station generates an average of 450,000 on-demand audio plays per month and around 550,000 podcast downloads.

Meanwhile, podcasts of the "Preston & Steve" morning show on Greater Media's WMMR in Philadelphia are downloaded more than 500,000 times per month. PD Bill Weston tells Inside Radio that over half of the downloads aren't by regular subscribers. "There are a lot of people that are getting it piecemeal, they go on and find it and pull it in because they missed a day," he said.

And just yesterday ESPN Radio announced its website had seen its "best month" yet in March, with on-demand listening to through the ESPN Audio NOW Player up 511% over March 2011 (RAIN coverage here).

All this time-shifted listening will increase radio consumption overall, argues enterpeneur Michael Roberston. His DAR.fm service acts like a TiVo for radio programs (RAIN coverage here). And he tells Inside Radio the service now has 50,000 active users. But to see the increase in consumption, "radio measurement has to change, just like TV measurement has," Robertson said. 

Roberston will be a panelist at the upcoming RAIN Summit West 2012 conference in Las Vegas. He'll speak on the topic of "The Streaming Music Landscape," alongside Brendan Benzing of Rhapsody, Paul Campbell of Amazing Radio, Jamie Purpora of TuneCore and moderator Ted Cohen of TAG Strategic. Find out more here

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