The blog EV Grieve is reporting that streaming radio station East Village Radio will cease operations next week. According to the blog, live programs will conclude on Friday, May 23. DJs at the New York City station learned of the news last night. EV Grieve writes, “…the 11-year-old Internet radio station with a tiny storefront studio on First Avenue, is shutting down operations next week. ‘Every time we get a new listener, it costs us more money with licensing fees and Internet costs,’ East Village Radio CEO Frank Prisinzano said in a phone interview. ‘After doing some projections, we see that it is going to be very, very difficult for us to continue to break even.'”
It’s an interesting (and sad) case where popularity proved to be challenging for the station, as it increased the amount of fees it had to pay for its online broadcasts. According to EV Grieve,
…East Village Radio…counted more than 1 million listeners worldwide a month…’We pay a higher rate for royalties and licensing than Pandora pays. We live in a world where these behemouth music-streaming services keep going in for more capital,’ said Peter Ferraro, the general manager/head of programming at East Village Radio. ‘It’s almost like we are being penalized for our growth.’
East Village Radio began in summer 2003 and was notable not only for its interesting programming, but also for its miniscule storefront space in the East Village of New York. I visited the station in 2008 and loved seeing how much could be accomplished in a tiny space, including live performances.
As we hear more and more stories about colleges taking FM stations off of terrestrial radio (often to cut down on costs), the closure of East Village Radio is a reminder that Internet broadcasting can be an expensive endeavor as well.
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