As we previously reported, a coalition of Internet radio outlets has gone silent today to protest a massive increase in royalty rates set to go into effect July 15. The SaveNetRadio coalition, which includes massive portals like Yahoo! Radio (which attracts more listeners than the biggest terrestrial stations) as well as hundreds of smaller outlets, say most of its members would be forced to go silent for good if the new rates are made official. At a time when the music industry needs all the help it can get, that would be a tragedy: These outlets represent some of the best and most innovative ways to discover new music out there. Here are three we would miss the most:
1. Pandora: The Music Genome Project — which sounds like it should be the focus of a rock-centric Lost spin-off — has earned legions of devotees for creating an innovative way to discover new music. Users begin by selecting songs they like, and, based on a several research-intensive criteria, Pandora streams other songs it thinks you’ll like, creating a free, customized radio station. Users can refine the station by voting songs on or off the playlist. Pandora says about 10 percent of its millions of users click on links to buy music on iTunes and Amazon.
2. Woxy.com: For twenty years, Oxford, Ohio’s 97X-WOXY was cited as one of the best rock radio stations in the country. In 2004, it became a victim of corporate radio consolidation and moved to the Web, where it maintains a reputation for impeccable taste. The top-ten includes the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, the New Pornographers, Wilco and Voxtrot, while hipster stars like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Cold War Kids routinely stop by the studio to play live sets. It’s everything that was once great about radio.
3. Vault Radio: The radio component of wolfgangsvault.com — a massive trove of live concert recordings — this outlet maintains a constant stream of killer vintage gigs featuring everyone from Bruce Springsteen and the Allman Brothers to the Ramones and Patti Smith.
Go here for a more complete reference of outlets participating in the Day of Silence.