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                          經濟學人:數字廣播有錢可賺嗎?

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                          Business.

                          商業。
                          Clear Channel and radio broadcasting.
                          清晰頻道通信公司與無線電廣播。
                          Come stream with me.
                          跟我去發展流式音頻吧。
                          Is there money in digital radio?
                          數字廣播有錢可賺嗎?
                          FRANK SINATRA knew he was getting a raw deal. He could sing but he was not much of a songwriter, so he never saw a cent when most of his 300 or so singles were played on American radio. He spent years fruitlessly lobbying Congress to change a 1909 royalties law, which requires radio broadcasters to pay composers but not performers. Broadcasters-a more formidable lobby than artists or record labels-have long fought any change, arguing that airtime gives singers free publicity. But this month the artists and labels have had some good news.
                          弗蘭克·辛納特拉(FRANK SINATRA)知道自己受到的待遇不公正。他歌唱得好,但寫歌不在行;因此,雖然他大約300首單曲中的大部分在美國廣播電臺播放,他卻從來沒拿到過一分錢。一項1909年的版權使用費法要求電臺對歌曲作者付款,但不必對歌者付款。他多年游說國會修改這項法律,但毫無成效。廣播公司的游說比藝術家或唱片公司更強大;他們長期以來反對對這項法律的任何修改,理由是廣播免費宣傳了歌唱家。但本月歌手與唱片公司終于聽到了些好消息。
                          On June 5th Clear Channel Communications, America's largest radio broadcaster, announced a deal with Big Machine, a country-music label, to pay performance royalties on all its radio channels, terrestrial (ie, over the air) and digital. The plan is for Clear Channel to pay the label and its artists, who include Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw, a cut of its advertising revenue.
                          美國最大的廣播公司清晰頻道(Clear Channel Communications)6 月5日宣布與一家鄉村音樂唱片公司大機器(Big Machine)達成協議,將為它播出的所有大機器名下的歌曲演出付費,無論歌曲是由地面頻道或數字頻道播出。根據該計劃,清晰頻道將按廣告收入比例向大機器及它旗下的藝術家付費,其中包括泰勒·斯威夫特和蒂姆·麥克羅(Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw)。
                          The agreement indicates that Clear Channel plans to invest more in digital radio, the part of the industry that is growing. But unlike terrestrial broadcasters, digital stations are obliged by a 1998 law to pay fees to artists whenever a song is played. This skewed system has made life painful for digital platforms trying to build an audience, such as Pandora, which pays out more than half of its revenue in music royalties. "We can't make business work online with these rates," says Tim Westergren, founder and chief strategy officer of Pandora. His firm has spent $50,000 this year lobbying Congress to change the law.
                          這項協議表明,清晰頻道計劃增加它在數字廣播上的投資,而正是數字廣播在廣播業中前景可觀。但與地面廣播公司不同的是,按照一項1998年的法律規定,無論何時,只要數字電臺播出歌曲,它都必須向演唱者付費。這種扭曲的制度讓試圖招徠聽眾的數字平臺日子很不好過;僅以潘多拉(Pandora)為例,它收入的一半以上都用于支付音樂版權費。潘多拉的創建人、首席策略師蒂姆·威斯特格蘭(Tim Westergren)說:"版稅如此之高,我們沒法開展在線業務。"他的公司今年已在游說國會修改法律上花了5萬美元。
                          Only 2% of Clear Channel's listeners are digital and 98% terrestrial, so the deal looks costly. But Big Machine supplies only a small proportion of Clear Channel's music. And paying a share of ad revenues hurts less than paying per song. The idea is to see what this does to the bottom line before negotiating with other labels.
                          清晰頻道的聽眾中只有2%來自數字廣播,另外的98%來自地面廣播,因此這項協議看上去代價很高。但大機器的節目在清晰頻道播放的音樂中所占比例很小。而且,交出一部分廣告收入比按歌付費輕松。清晰頻道的打算是,先看看這項協議對凈收入的影響后再與其他唱片公司談判。
                          The deal may also reflect anxiety on Clear Channel's part. Its leveraged buy-out in 2008, just before the ad market collapsed, has left it heavily in hock. It has enough cash to keep things humming for a few years, but in 2016 debts of $12.1 billion fall due. The company will probably need a maturity extension. "There's no way to pay that," says Melissa Link of Fitch, a ratings agency. "They need growth."
                          這項協議可能也反映了清晰頻道方面的擔憂。2008年,它在廣告市場崩潰前舉債收購,這使之負債沉重。幾年內它尚有足夠的資金周轉,但2016年有一筆121億美元的債務到期。該公司或將需要延期償債。惠譽評級公司(Fitch)的梅利莎·林克(Melissa Link)說:"錢他們肯定還不了,他們需要發展。"
                          All eyes are now watching to see whether Clear Channel can make money from digital radio. It already has iHeartRadio, an internet network launched in 2008, which relies on ads rather than subscriptions. In September 2011 the network began offering customisable playlists, like Pandora. It offers 11m songs, compared with Pandora's 900,000-but has only a tenth of its rival's listeners. The big source of growth is among smartphone buyers, who account for 70% of Pandora's streaming. Yet Pandora also relies heavily on advertising (only 10% subscribe), and mobiles have proven difficult for ad sales.
                          人人都在關注清晰頻道是否能通過數字電臺賺錢。他們已在2008年開通了線上網站"網絡電臺"(iHeartRadio),該網站靠廣告而不是靠聽眾付費賺錢。2011年9月"網絡電臺"開始像潘多拉一樣提供可由聽眾點播的播放列表,表中包括1100萬首歌。相比之下潘多拉的播放列表中只有90萬首歌,但聽眾卻是網絡電臺的10倍。智能電話的擁有者是發展聽眾的重大來源,他們占潘多拉聽眾的70%。但潘多拉對廣告的依賴程度也很高(訂閱收入僅占10%),而事實業已證明,手機廣告作用不明顯。
                          Second only to television in its reach, terrestrial radio does not face much of a threat from digital, especially given the royalty burden on digital providers. Air-wave radio has held on to listeners, because it remains free and convenient, particularly for car-bound commuters. Though carmakers are starting to integrate digital-radio platforms, streaming audio can eat up most mobile data plans. It is not expected to steal many listeners soon. But for artists, the Clear Channel deal has hit the right note.
                          受眾僅次于電視的地面電臺沒有受到數字電臺的威脅,考慮到數字電臺需要付出的高額版權使用費后尤其如此。無線電臺能夠抓住聽眾,因為它們的節目依舊免費,而且特別方便駕車上下班的人。盡管汽車制造商正開始在汽車收音機里添加數字無線電平臺,但流式音頻能擊敗大部分移動數據計劃。人們認為流式音頻還不會很快搶走大量聽眾,但對藝術家來說,清晰頻道的協議效果良好。

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