What happened to the stream?

CD102.5 is a locally-owned, independent radio station. Currently how the royalties work, we have to pay for every song that we play on our radio station. We currently pay around $100K in royalties annually for the music we play on air. When we transmit our broadcast via an online stream, we also have to pay for every song that plays on our stream. This can become very costly to a single, standalone station. If you go to Sound Exchange, the governing authority for music streaming, you can see what the fee structure is for a Broadcaster. Say we had only 3500 listeners (what we averaged 8yrs ago) listening for 6hrs a day, at 12 songs in an average hour. At the rate Sound Exchange charges, we would pay an additional $229,950 annually in royalties. Companies like Clear Channel, who owns the app iHeart Radio, are able to sell this streaming commercial time over all their radio stations at one time and can successfully offset the royalty costs. We are a commercial, standalone, Mom and Pop, alternative rock station and simply are not able to recoup that money from advertising. How are non-commercial stations able to stream? They get a bank of 159,140 aggregate tuning hours monthly before they have to start paying royalties.

So the short answer is royalties make streaming cost prohibitive.