Internet radio stations were dealt a crippling blow today. The old royalty structure ensured that internet stations would only pay a percentage of profits (plus a fixed annual fee). The new structure will force royalties to be paid on a per-user, per-song basis – regardless of profit.

This of course means that many independent netcasters will be forced to shut down their operations due to the massive fees they will now be charged. Those that remain will invariably be absorbed by larger companies in time. History will repeat itself – as always with a slight twist on the original – and internet radio will become as innovative and exciting as FM.

The case for an XM-Sirius merger may have just become a little less solid…