In yesterday’s inbox, I find:
Now, as I’m sure more than one of you know, I ran a station on Live365 for quite a while, almost from the beginnings of the platform. I had heard through the grapevine that they had been resurrected from the dead sometime in the last six months, and I was happy to see the “new owner(s)” reaching out to the people that had accounts on the platform and try to get them back involved.
What I wasn’t happy about was the fact that the “new” Live365 has no pricing tier that’s even remotely approachable for someone broadcasting as a hobby, and that the cheapest package was around $60. Now, it’s worth noting that tier is comparable to the “old” Live365’s $50 tier, and given the increase (and overall bullshit) involving the licensing situation that’s not surprising, really.
But this does mark a completely new direction for Live365, one that does not help the situation for small broadcasters at all. Live365 used to be littered with small operations, some good some bad, but many were voices and programming you just didn’t hear anywhere else. For better, or for worse. Now, the barrier for entry is $60/month, minimum (not to mention the time and energy to create programming, even if all you are doing is uploading music to be spun out of Live365’s servers).
That’s steep for a broadcast operation (like The Voice of Mercury on Live365) that never had more than 5 TLH/day and usually no more than 3 or 4 concurrent listeners… even at its peak 6 years ago. I could easily justify $20-25 a month, and the occasional music splurge, on that. But $60 is JUST TOO DAMN HIGH.
Now, I’ve been talking with a few of you about biting the bullet and going ahead and paying for it anyway, and divvying up timeslots to others in exchange for helping out with the bill. And I still want to do that, and it is on my list of things to do this summer.
But at the same time its hard to imagine that the “new” Live365 platform will even last long at that. The pricing tier doesn’t seem fair or equitable for small-time broadcasters, many of whom (present company included) have been content to be “underground” and/or “closed-circuit” since Live365’s original demise. It’s always been simply a “hobby” ever since my teenage days of NEEON-19 and the like. Yes, it has been fun, but $60 buys admission to a decent amusement park for a day, and I’d rather be on a barf-coaster quite honestly.
But here we are.
So, who wants to (re-)start a radio station?