A number of letters have been received at radio stations in America from PPL in London, demanding stations either pay royalties or block their webcasts.
A report on InsideRadio says the six-sentence letter points out that radio groups such as Clear Channel and Emmis already geo-block their webcasts.
PPL spokesman Jonathan Morrish says others, including CBS Radio and Pandora, have made similar moves. So far, Morrish says no broadcaster has approached them for a licence.
“They have to date made the decision to instead geo-block their streams so that they are not available in the UK,” he says. PPL has had a few pureplay operators obtain a license however, including Live365. So far only the big radio groups have received the letter, but Morrish says they plan to send them to more American broadcasters as part of a broader PPL project.
PPL bases its fees on a per-track-per-stream rate.
“We are merely ensuring that services that are streaming in the UK are correctly licensed,” he says.
Cox Media Group is one of the groups that received the PPL request. Director of digital strategy Sandhi Kozsuch says the company hasn’t responded either way so far, and notes that while 30% of web listening comes from out-of-market users, a “much smaller” percentage is international.