It’s not like Internet Broadcasters in Europe don’t have enough headaches with out of control performance rights organizations, exorbitant fees and geo-blocking, according to sources at Radionomy (wiki), Live broadcasts are now being blocked for producers from Belgium and Germany and automated broadcasts (Auto-DJ) in general are being peppered with advertisements up to four (4) times an hour!
To re-cap, In March 2016, Radionomy was sued by SoniXCast partner Sony for copyright infringement and the resulting action was to block listeners from many countries (geo-blocking) from tuning in to Radionomy radio stations. The exact list of nations blocked has never been revealed, but according to our sources, Italy, Spain and Germany were the hardest hit.
Radionomy (which bought ShoutCast and Winamp from AOL in 2014) reached it’s peak in the wake of the slow but steady demise of Last.fm (wp) which quietly stopped providing radio services sometime in March 2015 leaving radio producers in a lurch and searching for a provider. At that time SoniXCast was still on the WHMSonic platform which offered very limited radio automation features and producers found themselves wanting spurring the development of their own radio automation software.
In typical Radionomy fashion, no announcement was ever made to radio producers that their Live Broadcast’s would be blocked and that heavy advertising and sign-in intro’s would be introduced. According to sources, only after putting a Radionomy representative on the spot, was it admitted that Radionomy made major changes to their system, network and service agreements. Radionomy has not yet made any official statements.
There were also reports that Radionomy was not deferring broadcasting fees to the Belgian PRO SABAM which may have precipitated the lawsuit from Sony, but this has never been officially substantiated.
Unlike Radionomy, SoniXCast (in business since 2006) defers broadcasting fees through SOCAN which has partnership agreements with almost all worldwide performance rights organizations according to their annual report. SoniXCast remains the official legal owner of all radio stations eliminating the quandary of “pirating” altogether.
All this activity has pushed the development of SoniXCast’s radio automation software BoomBox into overdrive in order to meet demand from producers left with little or no option. Remaining service providers offer no licensing and only basic streaming services. Now in “Extreme Agil” mode, features and patches are pushed out sometime’s hourly and already exceeds Radionomy’s broadcasting tools in many areas.