Music streaming service Live365 to return

Streaming music service Live365.com is about to return having been forced to close down a year ago.

The firm launched onto the internet in 1999, leading the way for internet ‘radio’ broadcasters to legally stream music shows to the world for a low monthly fee.

Just as the growth of internet radio and streaming music was gaining traction among consumers – thanks in part to the take up of smartphones – the firm was forced to shut its doors on 31 January 2016.

It’s trail-blazing ride was brought to an end in part by the US-based Copyright Royalty Board.

Members of the board jacked up the music licensing fees Live365 had to pay and the decision to close down left hundreds of broadcasters high and dry. The guys at Live365 did the math, correctly figured hobby broadcasters wouldn’t stump up the higher costs, and called it quits.

The closure, while widely anticipated among industry watchers, was a blow to many hobby and semi-pro broadcasters who had enjoyed a simple way to legally broadcast music – knowing a portion of their monthly fees to Live365 were passed onto the recording industry.

The decision to close also led to other firms operating in the music streaming space to shut down and certainly stopped dead in its tracks firms thinking of entering the music streaming space.

The disappointment among Live365’s clients was palpable, and many words were written and spoken about the impossible position the owners of the company had found themselves in.

While firms such as mixcloud.com gives DJs an outlet to share their dance mixes and radio shows, it isn’t a live streaming service that’s ideal for broadcasters.

Now for the good news. Live365.com has returned offering broadcasters a way to get on the air for less that US$60 a month.

The basic package provides 25GB of music storage (broadcasters upload their MP3s to Live365’s servers), unlimited listeners, unlimited bandwidth and it also covers the all-important music licensing fees and offers 1500 listening hours a month.

With MP3s having an average file size of 4meg, the basic plan – Broadcaster 1 – will allow customers to upload around 6000 songs.

So welcome back Live365.com. I for one am looking forward to seeing the next chapter of your story.

And as I have written before, years ago in fact, the future of radio is on the net – not with expensive transmitters and government licenses.