Renowned Internet station East Village Radio to shut down, citing music-licensing cost

evr storefrontIn a development that intersects Internet radio, small business, and hyperlocal content, East Village Radio (EVR) has announced that it will shut down its operation on May 23. The Manhattan-based Internet station was featured in RAIN’s “Pureplay of the Day” series in October.

East Village Radio is owned by a New York restaurateur, Frank Prisinzano, who cited rising music-licensing expenses as the reason for turning off the station. That complaint was heard in recent highly-publicized shut-downs of Turntable.FM and Bloom.FM.

The brand started as a 10-watt FM station in 2003, but quickly migrated online. EVR’s current program features two-hour hosted programs, mostly music with some talk. the programming lineup is eclectic in the extreme, rivaling or exceeding the adventurousness of college radio.

Although East Village Radio attracts a global audience,  one of its charms is an extreme hyperlocal quality. The station operates in an East Village storefront on 1st Avenue in Manhattan, where street sounds sometimes intrude, and off-the-street guests can sometimes appear in a show.

The station owner, and the general manager, had rough words about the challenges of running a streaming music business. ““We pay a higher rate for royalties and licensing than Pandora pays,” said GM Peter Ferraro to EV Grieve. “We live in a world where these behemouth music-streaming services keep going in for more capital. It’s very difficult for an independent medium music company to survive in a world where Apple is paying $3.2 billion for Beats by Dre.”

Prisinzano noted, “Every time we get a new listener, it costs us more money with licensing fees and Internet costs. After doing some projections, we see that it is going to be very, very difficult for us to continue to break even.”

Brad Hill

One Comment

  1. No one can make money in streaming radio in the USA. After 15 years no one is makiing any profit (spending money yes but no profit and without profit the business is nothing more than an expensive hobby). If no one makes money there is no incentive to expand – in the USA. So as predicted over a decade ago this is to the detriment of all the artists. It is sad that the biggest internet radio stations are outside of the USA and making money – which shows that the American model is a total failure. Streaming music services that bring in a half a billion dollars a year and still can’t make a profit, are nothing more than failures. If you can’t sustain an industry after 15 years and there is no growth in the country that generates a profit, the industry is a failure. In the USA the capitalist system works on making profit. So sooner rather than later, you either have to make major changes to the system, or get left behind by the rest of the world. Getting left behind by the rest of the world – that seems so unamerican!!!

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