Michael Robertson doesn’t mince words when he talks about the flawed business model that Internet radio must operate under. Robertson, a high tech entrepreneur, founded mp3.com, a digital music service that did not survive mostly due to copyright lawsuits by the music industry. He’s no stranger to the licensing game, and he pushes the envelope, believing that current webcasting royalty rates are prohibitive to a successful streaming business model.
Now he’s launching an Internet-radio-like service that he says won’t have to pay those royalties. “The crushing financial obligations which ate up 60% of Pandora’s total revenues last year do not apply here.” says Robertson. “Because this is the user’s own music we are not required to pay webcasting royalty rates.”
byo.fm will use Robertson’s other music platform mp3tunes.com to store a listener’s personal music collection, and stream it back to them, along with many other features that radio listeners find appealing, such as news, weather and sports, culled from the user’s favorite websites and delivered in a voice that they choose by text to speech technology. The service puts the user in the driver’s seat – letting them design playlists as well as news and talk features, and listen from anywhere with a connected device.