Pocket-lint.co.uk readers give internet radio a big thumbs up

In our latest Pocket-lint.co.uk reader poll - where you get to tell us what you think about a certain subject - we asked if you listen to internet radio stations.

The "Day of Silence" protest that was recently carried out by (almost) all of the major internet radio broadcasters in the States prompted out interest in this topic.

We wondered how this would affect our Pocket-lint.co.uk readers and how many of you out there regularly listened to radio over your broadband connection.

Well, 63% of you are internet radio listeners, leaving 37% not currently tuning in to the services offered.

The "Day of Silence" took place on June 26 with over 14,000 internet broadcasters either turning off their audio streams entirely, or replacing their streams with static or similarly bland sounds.

The reason for the protest was a massive hike in the rates planned by United States Copyright Royalty Board that internet stations would soon be forced to fork out for.

The plans for the rate increase would eventually see every webcaster pay a license-type fee of $500 per annum, plus $0.0019 per song broadcast multiplied by how many listeners a station had.

So, a station with an audience of 10,000 would have to pay 19 cents every time they played a song - something that would undoubtedly bankrupt most stations. As as added blow to limited budgets, these fees were planned to be backdated to 2006.

The first internet radio station launched in 1993, and since then the numbers of webcasters now in the tens of thousands.

Two things are considered particularly fantastic about internet radio by fans, the first is that because of the general lows costs and ease of set there are a huge amount of niche stations catering to small audiences, so whatever you're into there a station for you.

The other major benefit is that because the station's signal is broadcast via the Internet, it is not restricted to territorial listening, so you can tune in to a local Australian station as easily as you could to your local county FM.

If you haven't already gotten into the joys of internet radio, and would be interested in doing so, then obviously you can point your browser in that direction, or, for a slightly more swish approach, why not enter our current competition that is offering four standalone BT Internet Radios to give way?

You can find a link to the comp below.