to require registration

Starting this Friday (7/20) will require user registration in order to access their 24/7 bluegrass audio stream online. There is no charge to register, and users will not need to log in each time they access the stream unless they clear or delete cookies from their web browser.

According to station management, the change is to foster better communication with listeners, and they want to assure everyone that personal information will never be shared with an outside entity. You can read their Privacy Policy online.

Listeners who access the feed via iTunes or some other web radio player will not be affected by the registration requirement. Only those who listen at will be asked to register.

I wondered whether this new registration requirement might have been precipitated by the new royalty rates for online audio streams, or the new reporting standards. Richard Cassidy, Director of Content Operations for both and WAMU said no.

“The registration is separate from any discussion about the new royalty rates and was planned well before the July 15 royalty rates deadline was established. While we still rely on listener support for 20% of our costs, and encourage listeners to become members, the registration process is free and not a reaction to the new royalty structure.”

With regard to their plans once new royalties go into effect, Richard had this to say:

“We’re holding our breath and hoping that the NPR/CPB negotiations with the recording industry will bear fruit. WAMU/Bluegrass Country will have to assess the financial impact going forward from the first payment if negotiations don’t yield a compromise.”

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.