Philadelphia, PA – WXPN, the nationally-recognized leader in Triple A music and a noncommercial radio service of the University of Pennsylvania, today announced that it wlll join other Internet radio providers in a “Day of Silence” to protest higher royalty rates expected to go into effect on or after July 15.
Silence is what Internet radio may sound like after that date because of a royalty rate hike scheduled to go into effect. The new rates will also be retroactive for 17 months and payment will become due to the SoundExchange collection organization under the terms of a recent Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) decision. The new rates could cost WXPN more than $100,000 annually; several times the annual funds raised by business support on the Internet streams.
For its part, WXPN will silence the station’s four streams – XPN, Y-Rock-On-XPN, XPoNential Radio and Folk Alley. No music will be heard but a message will be played directing listeners to sign an online petition to protest this increase. The station is seeking a minimum of 5,000 signatures. An on-air message will direct listeners as well. The station is also planning two minutes of silence on-air at 4pm.
“We owe it to our audience to raise awareness that their listening choices will be reduced if these fees go through” says Roger LaMay, WXPN General Manager. “WXPN will be forced to at least reduce the number of listeners who can access us online at any given time. This will reduce exposure for the artists who need it most.”
WXPN 88.5 FM, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots, and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe®, public radio’s most popular program of popular music hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O’Connell. WXPN also produces the alternative rock service, Y-Rock On XPN (yrockonxpn.org) as its secondary radio channel in HD. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Harrisburg at 88.1 FM, and the world via online streaming at XPN.org and XPoNentialMusic.org.