Webcasting compliance

The Copyright Royalty Board's (CRB) determination for the 2016-2020 webcasting rates resulted in three categories for noncommercial webcasters. They differ in eligibility, royalty fees, reporting and various other details. We have written simplified instructions for the whole process of achieving compliance from registration through making pyments and filing reports.

Noncommercial License options:


Statutory (CRB) Educational (CBI) Public Radio (CPB)


Any noncommercial

Noncom educational
except CPB grantee

CPB-qualified, NPR Member,
NFCB Participant Member

Minimum fee

$500 per year

CPB covers all royalties.
NPR data processing fees:

  • Zero for NPR members
  • $250 for NPR stream hosting clients
  • $275 for NFCB members
  • $500 for everyone else

Audience size1

159,140 ATH per month = 218 average listeners

Excess fee2

$0.0018 / performance above 159,140 ATH

Playlist logs

  • Song Title
  • Artist Name
  • ISRC or Album and Label
  • Number of times a song was played
  • Song Title
  • Artist Name
  • Album Name
  • Label Name
  • Exact start time + duration of each song


Two weeks / quarter, filed to SX quarterly

  • Playlist logs
  • Play frequency
  • ATH for reporting period
  • Monthly SOA

Two weeks / quarter, filed to SX annually

  • Playlist logs
  • Play frequency
  • Monthly SOA

Two weeks / quarter, filed to NPR quarterly

  • Playlist logs with exact song time-stamps
  • Stream logs with IPs and connection times
  • Update program schedule
  • Specify reporting period

Reporting waiver

Not applicable

$100/year if monthly ATH ≤ 80,000
= 109 average listeners

Not applicable


  1. The number of listeners simultaneously connected to a stream varies as listeners connect and disconnect. We prefer to discuss webcast audience size in terms of average number of listeners, which is ATH divided by the number of hours in the given period of time. The monthly audience size threshold for a minimum-fee webcast is 159,140. Dividing it by 730 (the average number of hours in a month) equals the average number of listeners of 218.

    The official unit of audience size in webcasting regulations is Aggregate Tuning Hours (ATH), which is

    “…the total hours of programming that the Licensee has transmitted over the Internet during the relevant period to all end users within the United States… By way of example, if a service transmitted one hour of programming to 10 simultaneous listeners, the service's Aggregate Tuning Hours would equal 10. Likewise, if one listener listened to a service for 10 hours, the service's Aggregate Tuning Hours would equal 10.” The full definition is given in §370.3(b)(1) of the Copyright Office rules and regulations

    Think of “tuning” in terms of listener-hours aggregated over a given period of time.

    ATH is found by processing a stream server log, which lists every listener connection to the server, its IP address, and when it connected and disconnected.

  2. Most noncommercial stations don't need to calculate excess fees either because their audience is comfortably below the 159,140 ATH (218 average number of listeners) threshold or because they cap audience size to avoid the fees. But for those that need it we provide a simple formula for budgetary projections:

    Multiply the following three numbers:

    • $0.0018 — per-performance rate for 2019
    • 730 — the average number of hours in a month
    • 12 — webcasting regulations assume 12 songs per hour for music shows

    The resulting number is your monthly excess fee of $15.768 for each increment in average audience size over 218.