“So long, and thanks for all the fish.” – Douglas Adams

 

Unless something changes radically between now and then, DKFM will spin down on its last day, December 31, 2015.

What happened? Thousands of small pureplay and microcaster web stations will find it impossible to continue, given the new rate structure from the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) agreement. Previously, stations like ours were able to operate under the SWA, or Small Webcaster Agreement. Not to get too far into the weeds, but it was a provision that allowed small-to-medium webcasters to promote lesser-served communities. Jazz fans, folk fans, even shoegaze and dream pop fans had a home to hear familiar tracks, as well as discover new and breaking independent artists completely ignored by Pandora and Spotify. This provision was eliminated in the 2016-2020 agreement.

What can we do to fix it? Options are limited, and involve significant trade-offs.

  • • Kickstart a minimum of $1200 a month for ongoing station operations. Not likely.
  • • Move ourselves and our broadcast to Southern Ireland, or perhaps Belgium. Also unlikely.
  • • Go pirate. Besides looking over our shoulders all the time, piracy just isn’t in our DNA.
  • • “Geo-fence” out all listeners from the U.S.A. Complex and cumbersome, plus that shuts out 50% of our audience.
  • • Secure signed waivers from all the artists we play that are willing to forgo royalties in exchange for promotion. Besides the regular rotation roster of over 1000 artists, we’d have to secure same for all the newest artists we shuffle in every weekend. Plus recordkeeping, and transmission of this data to streaming carrier? Also unlikely.
  • • Appeal to Congress, who established a carve-out for pureplay webcasters back in 2007, under the current agreement. Have you seen this Congress? Plus, we really can’t afford our own Congressman or Senator, as Pandora does.
  • • Become a 501(c)3 non-profit. Compelling, considering we never established this to make money, only to hopefully break even. But even the government would likely raise an eyebrow out our claim to be “educational”.
    • Move non-live operations over to Radionomy, and attempt to re-establish our standard livecasting within 30 days. Possible. Drawback: breaking twice an hour for two minutes of commercial/PSA/filler. And we’ve always been staunchly noncommercial.
  • • Pray God for an intelligent alternative to any of the above. Frankly, a combination of #7 and #8, most reasonable proposition.

 

We will surely have a multi-hour send-off on our flagship Live365 station. It’s our home and our first love, the platform that got us onto iTunes Radio and TuneIn, and drew an international audience of thousands to our narrowcast little genre. That the Live365 network has been essentially legislated out of existence isn’t their fault. The current CRB agreement (with its lack of Small Webcaster Agreement) has essentially destroyed their business model, and the wound is likely fatal to their business going forward.

We’ll keep you posted. Here, on Facebook and Twitter. We believe in our programming, our genre, our DJs, and our audience. We will continue to serve you in any manner we are legally allowed.

Press inquiries: contact GM Greg Wilson, dkfm@decayfm.com.

17 thoughts on “The End of DKFM?

  1. Brian Foster

    This is terrible. Many of my favorite internet radio stations sent out a “death email” today. Crummy, greedy government and meddling copyright people. Thanks!

    I use the internet radio station to find music to “BUY” more so than finding music to just sit and listen to all day. So now these greedy companies who want more royalty pennies for their artists, will find me not buying their music because I won’t get exposure to them.

    Way to go greedy world!

  2. Ismael Jalal

    Feeling pretty miserable about this.

    The world is about to lose a little flavour.

    Damnit I’d forward my Live365 payment completely to DKFM if I could.

  3. Ron H.

    DKFM is the entire reason why I have had a alive365 subscription for the past 3+ years. I found so many great bands, too many to mention, and bought their albums after discovering them on DKFM.

    Where will one go to find under appreciated independent music going forward?

  4. Tony Partigianoni

    There is something listeners can do. Write and call your Congressmen and Seators. Congress has had to save small webcasters twice before. Many of them LIKE you find that small webcasters give them a better variety of music and serve niche genres no one else caters too and that these same stations play new artists and bands nobody else does. And, they will play classic and archived tracks that the BIG STATIONS haven’t played in years.

    Lots of folks will be hurt by the THIRD ATTEMPT BY THE RECORDING INDUSTRY to wipe out small webcasters and broadcasters!

  5. Bill

    This is a shame. Through DKFM I have found dozens of new bands, which I then went to Bandcamp and paid to download. Personally I like the geofence idea if that’ll suffice. American listerners will find a workaround.

  6. convertiblegirl

    Guys, for heaven’s sake – DO NOT SHUT DOWN! This is just simply the best shoegaze station out there, I love all the new music I’ve discovered thanks to you!.
    Our local Seattle station KEXP.org is a non profit, ‘we play whatever we want’ independent station – maybe check out how they do it. They’re a different setup as far as broadcasting capabilities, but maybe how they do things could be copied? I am a monthly donater (a member of their “Amplifier Club”), which is how they are now keeping their station not only healthy but growing (just moved into fancy new digs). Its just $20 a month (and you can donate even less a month), and its totally worth every penny in all the great new music and live venues they play and promote. The monthly donation method they use is so effective, they seldom do yearly drives now. Check ’em out!

  7. brent wyatt

    is pronetlicensing.com still in operation. I ran a small non profit radio station on them and related site streamlicensing.com for a while and they offered ascap and BMI and soundexchange licenses for broadcasters which were more affordable. They are shoutcast/icecast only but you can get dedicated boxes pretty cheap at ovh.com or hertzner. Just a thought

    1. DKFM

      Inquiries sent earlier this week, but even they are holding off on publishing rates for 2016. Expect significant increases without an SWA (Small Webcaster Agreement) for 2016-2020.

  8. Dan (from angel falls)

    Speaking as one of the artists who has received a ton of support and airplay form DKFM, we are very saddened (and angry) to see this happen. Most of us who play this kind of music don’t do it for the $$$ (although it comes in handy), and why the CRB doesn’t make exceptions for small webcasters is just baffling. It seems like a conspiracy on the part of Spotify, Apple Music and the big players to stifle competition in markets where they barely even compete. The monopolization of the industry continues afoot, and the people who suffer are the small-budge independent artists, labels and stations who play their music.

    If nothing else, maybe getting a shoegaze show on some of the local community stations might be an option (like 89.3 The Current in Mpls/St Paul or KEXP? It would be a damn shame to see DKFM go away, especially considering the role you guys played in “breaking” angel falls in 2015. Without you, we literally would not exist. We’ll keep on fighting the good fight and sending good vibes your way.

  9. Rustin

    Gee, what a bad news, unfortunate that point at which we arrived. I’m a fan of Shoegaze & dreampop genre since gone 80 I started listening to bands like Jesus & Mary Chain & Cocteau Twins
    I was amazed to discover the DecayFM and honestly still do not know what to do at his lack
    In the name of the best music the least I can do is praise and thanks for the great work done throughout this time, a work that left my ears in delight
    Decayfm thank you, thank you Greg for everything.
    I hope that we are not totally orphans.
    Rustin

  10. D. Otterbein

    You shouldn’t give up. DKFM is pretty great. Why not do a youtube channel, mix cloud or sound cloud playlist? Maybe a blog? Record label???

  11. Kevin McWha Steele

    It means the market goes overseas and the US indie market and its listeners lose out. Stations like FIP radio in France will continue to provide. Greedy legislation. It hurts the US market short and long term.

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