So what do the hooded cloaks in CBS Star Chamber know that the rest of us don’t?
CBS drops $280 Million for a small internet radio station in the hopes of bolstering their terrestrial radio station holdings as only 30% of Last.fm listeners hail from the U.S. (Last.fm is based out of the UK).
But what about the impending U.S. Copyright Royalty Board’s decision to hammer online stations with much higher fees? Could CBS be moving muscle to thwart this pending change? That would be a great thing for those of us that like to listen to free internet radio via the likes of Last.fm, Pandora, LaLa, Live365, and a slew of other sites.
Is there another type of machination in the works that would protect CBS’ investment but effectively lock out their competitors? I hope not but these guys play with live ammo so who knows at this stage.
To reiterate, I take CBS move as a very good sign that they will have to move toward beating back down the pending copyright changes to protect their quarter billion dollar investment in Last.fm. Otherwise, they just appear to be willing to suck up the new fees, damn the cost, and camp out a better stake online.