Internet Radio and the AFTRA issue

One of the first big hurdles the Internet radio industry had to overcome was ensuring that all commercials licensed for broadcast use by The American Federation of Television and Radio Actors (AFTRA) were also licensed for use on the Internet. While this issue has been resolved, some advertisers and their agencies and stations remain confused about the issue.

This problem was born when broadcasters began to stream their content and therefore agency produced radio commercials began to air on Internet streams. AFTRA, protecting the interests of the artists who produced the commercials, called for commercials that were not licensed for streaming be taken off the air immediately or broadcasters would face penalties and possible litigation. This caused many broadcasters to stop streaming entirely, because they did not have a way to schedule and insert different commercials on their stream than on their broadcast.

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention: all of this caused the development of Ad Insertion technology that nearly all broadcasters who stream use today so they can run a different commercial log on their stream and broadcast. The development of Internet radio as a separate revenue model for broadcasters was born.

Tomorrow’s post will summarize the current licensing rules for running broadcast spots on the stream.

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