This crowdfunding appeal is to raise funds to make necessary licensing fees and royalty payments to keep Smooth Jazz 24/7 on the air for 2018. In the Summer of last year, RadioTunes and JazzRadio changed their playlist system. The change meant that they could no longer carry the DJ stream for Smooth Jazz 24/7 and were therefore forced to drop the service, along with the funding that they had provided since 2011. Our broadcast staff essentially became volunteers at that point. We continued to broadcast through Radionomy, but this unfortunately left our USA listeners without a reliable stream. We managed to find an alternative streaming provider for the USA, but at a cost. What's more we had to pay licensing fees for a whole year, even though we only started using the new service in September.
The new provider will ultimately be able to give us a cut of the advertising revenue, but several months in arrears. New licence fees will be due in January, but we will be unable to pay them without support. So we are turning to our listeners to help us through until the advertising revenue becomes enough for us to support ourselves. We'd also like to see some renumeration for our staff who have been valiant in keeping the service running, but at the expense of their other commitments.
We would also like to extend our new streaming provider's service to cover the UK too. Unfortunately that's a little more complicated. The UK's Internet radio royalty system is totally ridiculous. It would cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to provide a service for more anything than around 20 simultaneous UK listeners. Unless we had a DAB service (known as HD radio in the USA). The cost of a DAB channel including all that we'd need for the first year would be in the region of 65,000 UK pounds. To add the Internet to that would be an almost negligible amount of money. So if the donations go way over the target we'll see if we can realize that dream. However since the majority of our listeners (just over half) are in the USA we appreciate that it's a big ask. There's much more detail to be found here, if you'd like to know more.
Whilst we'd appreciate any amount you can spare, we've also come up with a few incentives for people who'd like to give a set amount for a little something in return. Thank you for taking the time to read our appeal. And thank you for your support so far.