East Village Radio to Shut Down After 11 Years

By Gustavo Solis on May 14, 2014 11:26am 

 The Smiths' Andy Rourke during his broadcast for East Village Radio in 2011. 
The Smiths' Andy Rourke during his broadcast for East Village Radio in 2011. 
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DNAinfo/Patrick Hedlund

MANHATTAN — Live-streaming killed the radio star.

East Village Radio is shutting down next week after 11 years of playing commercial-free online programing from its storefront studio on First Avenue, EV Grieve first reported.

“We’re extremely saddened by it," Peter Ferraro, the station's general manager and head of programming, told DNAinfo New York. "We feel like we are part of the neighborhood.”

The independent station, which has grown to attract more than 1 million listeners worldwide, said it has become unable to compete with other free online radio sites, such as Pandora and Spotify, because it has to pay a higher digital performance royalty per song for every listener.

"We pay a higher rate for royalties and licensing than Pandora pays. We live in a world where these behemoth music-streaming services keep going in for more capital,” Ferraro told EV Grieve. "It's almost like we are being penalized for our growth.”

The radio station's last show will be on May 23. The next two weeks will be a celebration of the past 11 years, Ferraro said.

“Everyone is going to get a final show,” he said, adding that the station may bring back retired DJs.

East Village Radio has hosted leagues of world-class artists in its tiny storefront studio, including Mark Ronson and The Smiths' Andy Rourke. 

Rourke had a two-hour radio show from 2010 to 2013, and Duran Duran stopped by to debut exclusive songs from an upcoming album in 2010. 

Although licensing costs played a large part in the decision to close, rising costs of operation like rent, staffing and upgrading the bandwidth to support more listeners also contributed, Ferraro added.

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