The start of 2016 and one hundred thousand webcasters and their one hundred million dedicated listeners lost their life line; I speak of ‘Live 365’.

For 17 year‘s this platform offered an affordable broadcast option, and the destination for the discerning listener to appreciate aspiring talent.

This platform had more genres than any satellite or other digital delivery providers such as Spotify et al.

To the most part these stations were managed by real people, not conglomerates, the output was genuine, thoughtful and original; these broadcasters had a passion for their musical genres and were non-profit.


The Live 365 Webcaster and listening community were informed, just before Christmas, that there could be a spanner in the works, the company told us ‘the Copyright Royalty Board, which set the rates for net broadcasters, was to phase out the special lower rates it set for smaller broadcasters’ and to make matters worse a major Live365 investor had pulled out. 

There was still a glimmer of hope in the correspondence; they were looking for a new investor and there might be an affordable work around to this new change in legislation.

I hoped the problem would resolve itself, as few years previous a similar situation had occurred, and good old ‘Live 365’ managed to pull the iron out of the fire.

Sadly this time their luck had run out, and we all received an email explaining the show must finish at the end of January, thank you and goodnight!

As expected, on January 31st, I received notification from a listener that the Radio Sounds Familiar’s VIP stream was dropped at 8.30am and the standard stream was pulled a few minutes later at 8.37am.

 Dead Air for the first time in nearly 7 years.

‘Live365’ had allowed me to offer content, seldom heard anywhere else, and they made the broadcasting process fairly painless, without insisting on too many rules and regulations, as well as keeping the work flow straightforward.and I met several like-minded listeners who became friends and helped me improve the content of the station.

After the stream had closed,I also received many words of encouragement, informing me the station was missed and hoped it would return the airways

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The task now was how and what was the best way to carry on the stream?  

There was no shortage of candidates trying to step into Live 365's shoes and grab my custom.

The main problem was properly licencing the stream (keeping it legal) most of these options only offered cover for broadcasting throughout the USA and Canada.  Radio Sounds Familiar’s small but niche audience is very much based in the UK.

After a bit of research, obtaining both a PRS and PPL licence would cover the content for UK transmission.  After that I also chose a platform to host and playout the content.

It was an uphill learning curve but after several days of organising, testing and programming,  Radio Sounds Familiar was ready to return.

The stream resumed on Saturday February 13th.  

Live 365’s forte was that it was a destination resource, that’s how I gained new listeners, in fact on the day of its closure I had been selected as a pre-set, on the site player, by over 1,200 people. 

Now the task of building up a listener base started again, because most listeners would go to the Live 365 site to listen.

Thankfully some things hadn’t altered; I was still accessible in the same place on most internet ready radios, and, of course, at the station’s website and ‘Tunein’.

Just over one month after going it alone, I’m happy people are finding me and the total listening hours are approaching those of ‘Live365’ levels and the silver lining was that I’ve been able to add much more content to the station and I have more control over the playlists in terms of being proactive to listener requests, and I intend more live shows, making the station even more interactive.

 

R.I.P, and thank you Live 365...Long live Radio Sounds Familiar.

TTFN

Gary