Is it Death for Niche Internet Radio?

Denver, CO, March 20, 2007 --( Eyes Of The Poet Radio occupies a narrow niche in the world of Internet radio. The station streams New Age and Ambient music along with audio poetry, interviews, and information about books. "The original idea behind creating the station was to give audio poetry a chance to be heard, for free, anywhere in the world," according to Brian Douthit, owner of Eyes Of The Poet Radio. Poetry isn't one of those high-demand, blockbuster sellers that consumers clamor for on a daily basis. For most people, poetry is a once in a while sampling, if they even choose to listen at all. Douthit chose to broadcast the audio poetry with New Age and Ambient music believing that the music wouldn't crowd out the poetry. It's been a good fit, but Eyes Of The Poet Radio is unique, and "unique" in the Internet radio business means fewer listeners. "I'm not really concerned about how many listeners I have," says Douthit, "I'm just glad the station exists for those who want to listen. It's very much 'art for art’s sake'."

Eyes Of The Poet Radio may soon be off the air. On March 2nd, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) announced its determination of the new royalty rate increases Internet radio broadcasters must pay to license music. Although this is the year 2007, the new rate increase also applies to 2006, and continues to increase each year through 2010. These rates apply to each song played on Internet radio, to each listener. In addition to the new rate increases, the CRB added a minimum fee of $500 per channel, per year.

“In my opinion, this new rate structure will affect broadcasters on every level," says Douthit.   He points out that the large fees collected from 2006 along with increased fees for 2007 will bankrupt, or financially cripple, most large Internet radio providers such as Yahoo, AOL, and those like them who have large audiences. The $500 yearly fee per channel is aimed at the small, niche stations like Eyes Of The Poet Radio. “For me, the additional fees could bring my total costs to $1000 per year,” Douthit adds. “It’s enough to make me say, ‘Hey, this is getting serious!’ And it makes me ask myself if operating a small Internet radio station is really worth it.” Douthit receives little or no income from operating his station- a fact of life for most small broadcasters on the Internet. The new $500 fee is enough to stop most small broadcasters from operating, and enough to prevent new broadcasters from even starting.

About Brian Douthit

Brian Douthit is the author of the poetry book, “Perfectly Said: when words become art” and co-edited the anthology, “Eyes Of The Poet: Love and Passion in Lasting Splendor.” He has written book reviews for ForeWord Magazine and writes book and music reviews independently. He owns and operates the Internet radio station, Eyes Of The Poet Radio (for now). His website and radio station can be found at

Brian Douthit