Kalamazoo, MI
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Radio

Demise of Online Broadcast Service Threatens Future of WJMD

The Kalamazoo College radio station, WJMD, has lost its ability to broadcast anywhere outside of the studio itself. It used to be broadcast online through a service known as Live365, but this service crashed due to a financial crisis. The Copyright Royalty Board released new webcast rates in December, and these new rates in combination with the expiration of a special provision that allowed low-revenue online radio stations to pay lower royalties than high-revenue online radio stations. These changes made it difficult for Live365 to sustain a profit, so they stopped providing their service after giving all those using the service a notice in January.

This service was used by WJMD since it covered all the music licensing fees required and allowed them to host their stream off site. By using this maintenance, billing, and bandwidth congestion were all helped. “There is no other service that offers the same functionality,” Jaakan Page-Wood, the staff adviser for WJMD, explained.

Switching over to online also provided several advantages that have been used by some students that broadcast through WJMD while it has been online. The main one of these being that anyone, anywhere could tune into WJMD.

With the collapse of Life365, the managers of WJMD are currently determining what they can and should do to keep it running. “[The current] options for the future of WJMD… include only broadcasting into Hicks Center, upgrade to hosting their own streaming server, or attempt to get their FM license back,” Alyssa McNeil, the technical advisor for WJMD, said.

Any of these options besides broadcasting only into Hicks Center would cost money, and one person on the radio voiced concerns about being able to fund one of these other options anytime soon.

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Demise of Online Broadcast Service Threatens Future of WJMD