internet radio is a beautiful thing. it puts an almost unlimited choice for any kind of musical variety or specialization within reach of anyone who has a decent internet connection. it provides an interested audience for artists that would get no shot at airplay on "regular" (airwave) radio. it can even create a sense of community around its online presence, fostering even more interest in and involvement with the music.
i can personally attest to the fact that my listening to internet radio has been directly involved in at least 50 cd purchases over the last 4 or so years. that number more likely is closer to 100 or more though, especially if you include indirect involvement. without internet radio, the recording industry would have made almost no money off of me at all. even though i love music, i dislike my local radio choices and would have had little avenue to learn about new music. in fact, until i found some of the internet radio stations my involvement with music was severely atrophying.
unfortunately, music big business has pretty much always felt threatend by and thus scared of new technologies (cassettes, cds) -- and it is behaving no differently this time around with internet radio. they used their monetary muscle and political power to influence poor decisions regarding internet radio in the past (1995, 1998/DMCA, 2002), and they are doing it again. it's yet another attempt at a crippling blow to the small, independently run shops. airwave broadcasters aren't treated as poorly. some stations were able to successfully argue for decreased fees based on their (lack of) income, but that's all ending and the new proposed rules will, honestly, knock most of them off the air. such an act of sheer stupidity should not be allowed.
please don't let the pushy, ignorant, greedy music big business folk destroy the creative and unique voices that are breathing life into what has become a wasteland composed of bland, predictable crap. internet radio, along with other music-focused internet-based phenomenons, are saving music from the weak, helpless, fecal state the parasitic music industry is keeping it in.
"the industry is the machine that churns blood to green" --my little dog china (kevin clay)