Web radio stalwart Live365 lays off staff, may close in New Year

Platform for small webcasters holds out begging bowl

Internet radio network Live365 has laid off a "significant" portion of its staff and may have to shut shop in the New Year if it fails to get funding.

The web radio show favourite said new royalty rates set by the Copyright Royalty Board will no longer make provisions for small webcasters to opt for a percentage of the rates.

The current provisions end at the end of 2015. The absence of this licence will make legally streaming copyrighted musical content prohibitively expensive for many small- to mid-sized internet broadcasters, said the body.

"Live365 relies on this licence for many of their broadcast partners and, as such, has hard decisions to make regarding their future in the streaming industry," it said in a statement.

In addition, two weeks ago, Live365 said it had also lost the support of its investors. Consequently the body has had to significantly reduce staff and is looking for new funding partners.

Dean Kattari, director of broadcasting for Live365, said the outfit hasdprovided a "home for musical discovery because many of these stations play emerging artists that terrestrial stations are reluctant to take a chance on. It would be a great loss for this to all go away."

The body has said that while some streaming audio stations will go silent tomorrow night, many of its Pro stations will continue until January 31, 2016. ®

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