How Effective Was the Internet Day of Silence?

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Jun 28, 2007 - On June 26, 2007, thousands of Internet radio stations across America turned silent in symbolic protest of the increase in royalty rates proposed by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB). The proposal includes increases retroactive to January 2006. Internet radio broadcasters citing that these increases would decimate the Internet radio industry and put most Internet radio businesses off the air, turned off their streaming on June 26 in an effort to move listeners to contact their congressmen to support a counter proposed bill that offers more acceptable rates. Bridge Ratings conducted two studies in association with the Day of Silence to gauge the effect that this movement had.

The national sample of 3,000 persons 13+ was first asked if they normally listen to Internet radio in a typical week. 21 percent of the respondents said they listened, 79 percent said that they did not. This 21 percent is consistent with previous Bridge Ratings studies and is slightly higher than the 19 percent who said "yes" in a study earlier this year.

During the day on June 26, the designated Day of Silence, Bridge asked those who responded "yes", the following question: "Did you listen to Internet Radio or radio streamed on the Internet today?" Bridge asked the same question of the same participants the next day, June 27, when Internet radio returned.

Date June 26 June 27
  45% 55% 89% 11%

It appears that the Day of Silence had an effect on Internet radio listening, although many Internet radio listeners searched for other online programming that day anyway. When the entire sample of Internet radio listeners was asked if they found their primary Internet radio station silent on the Day of Silence, 62 percent of the respondents indicated that they had.

Bridge then asked the 62 percent who found their primary Internet station silent what action they took when they found that station silent. Of them, 72 percent found something else to listen to online, 23 percent didn't listen to Internet radio, and 5 percent answered "don't know."

The Bridge methodology used random digit dial telephone interviews, one person per household.

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