As predicted last week here on radioinfo, Southern Cross Austereo has turned streaming back on in three of its larger markets, Newcastle, Canberra and the Gold Coast.
SCA’s Guy Dobson has told radioinfo: “Gold Coast, Newcastle and Canberra are big cities with regular radio surveys and so we have decided to bring them back into line with the other metro stations when it comes to online streaming.
“We are in agreement with CRA on this matter, in that being asked to pay, at a much higher rate, for the music we already pay for is double dipping and extremely unfair on local radio stations.”
The streams were turned off in response to the PPCA’s demands for more fees for internet simulcasting.
The radio industry is in dispute with the PPCA because it believes the music publishers’ collecting society is asking too much for the right to simulcast live to air broadcasts on the internet.
Joan Warner explained the dispute to radioinfo earlier this year, saying: “Record companies now want radio stations pay for how our listeners tune in. We don’t pay an extra fee when people listen on a car radio, via an FM chip in a mobile phone or via radio chip in a clock radio or hifi system but we are now faced with the prospect of paying an extra and higher fee… if listeners choose to listen to their local radio station online.”
While SCA still believes the demand for an extra fee is unfair, the size of the three competitive rated markets was a big factor in the decision.
KO and NXFM, Mix 1063 and FM104.7, and Sea and Gold FM broke the good news to their listeners this morning, and followed up with on air promotions and social media messaging.
Messages still remain on station websites explaining the commercial radio industry’s position in the dispute.
Live simulcasting from SCA’s other regional stations continues to be switched off, and the company still supports the CRA position. The maths on the issue means that with the extra burden of increased streaming and a claim for backpayments, smaller stations will have their profit margins severely cut (see our earlier report on the profit margin calculations).
SCA has 41 Today network branded stations and 31 Localworks stations across Australia. Click the map to see all SCA’s stations.