Pioneering Web Radio Broadcaster Live365 Returns

Boyoun Kim

A year after shutting down in the wake of tightening regulations from Washington, pioneering web radio network Live365 has come back online with a goal to be "better than ever." The company, which was purchased at a July auction, is kicking off by offering solutions to help small webcasters -- from DJs to colleges to churches -- get up and running with their own legal stations.

Live365 debuted in 1999, but was undone in late 2015 following the lapse of the Webcaster Settlement Act, a law that allowed small webcasters (less than $1.2 million in revenue annually) to pay a percentage of their revenue instead of the standard streaming rates.

Jon Stephenson of content delivery network EmpireStreaming is Live365's new owner. The company relaunched its website on Jan. 2, saying "we have new owners, a renewed passion for small webcasters, and fierce dedication to come back stronger," a message reads on the site. The company wants to give small webcasters a "voice and tools they need to succeed in Internet radio."

The site also has a search field for finding a listening to current stations, but it currently comes up empty.

In August, Stephenson told Billboard that a rejuvenated Live365 has a chance at competing with much larger, more firmly established webcasters.

"I definitely see that there's an opportunity with bringing back a lot of smaller radio stations," he said. "There's a huge opportunity with representing scale. And if we're able to rebuild Live 365 in some shape or form, then we have that branding and we can actually go compete with iHeart or Pandora. We can actually build a significant scale."


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