[F]or music nerds, technology has allowed anyone with a passion for music to share that passion with like-minded listeners. It's allowed them to effectively make endless mixtapes and play them for the world. For artists -- especially indie artists -- Internet radio is the best promotional outlet they have for their music this side of a friend handing you a CD and saying, "dude, you have to listen to this!"Is there an online radio station you love? Are you a member of the WWdN last.fm group? Do you stream your own radio station? Tell us in the comments, and please consider joining the SaveNetRadio coalition.
So why the hell is the RIAA trying so hard to destroy that? Because the RIAA (which is essentially the major labels) has spent a lot of time and a lot of money building a monopoly with a few media conglomerates, and it's been very profitable for them all for decades.
This effort to wipe out independent online radio has nothing to do with protecting artists, and everything to do with protecting a status quo that supports a very few top 40 acts at the expense of everyone else. In their effort to protect their outdated business model and insanely corrupt relationship with a few broadcasters, the RIAA is happy to prevent their artists from having a magnificent way to reach potential customers who will buy albums, merchandise, and concert tickets.
For the audience, this is about choice: The airwaves are supposedly owned by the American people, and licensed out to broadcasters for use. (Stop laughing. It's true.) So if we, the people, own the airwaves, who told Clear Channel that they could dictate what got played on the radio all over the nation? Who told Clear Channel that they could fill the airwaves with lowest common denominator crap and empty-headed, passionless DJs who read from a script? Who told Clear Channel that they could force out everyone else and ensure that the radio really, really sucks? I know that I wasn't consulted, that's for sure.