I don't honestly see these fees as a detriment to broadcasters. Personal opinion here so don't shoot me but allow me to explain.
We've always paid royalties for play. The amount of those royalties are based on listener numbers. A small classic rock station in western Kansas pays a small fraction to play Led Zeppelin compared to a New York station playing the same song. All based on the number of listeners.
When I started working in broadcast engineering (2000) we were streaming with two different stream providers (yahoo radio as a part of broadcast.net and another vendor I've already forgotten the name of.) I pulled 8 streams down within a 24 hour period after the first internet royalty fiasco. Someone decided that royalty rates would be based on "potential" audience size. Between music royalties and AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Announcers) no one could afford to stream and nearly all the broadcasters pulled down their streams.
Those issues were both solved. Royalties are paid on a more sane basis. AFTRA voiced commercials are simply "overlayed" with promos or local spots that the station owns the rights to.
Now onto my personal opinion portion. It costs a lot of money to start a radio station. High power FM transmitters (10kw +) start at around 50k and go up. Our HD transmitters cost almost $150k and use an existing antenna/tower. Still haven't talked about STL paths, site leases, studio side gear, support personnel, etc.
A webcaster can by a decent music library for $1/track from iTunes. $2k for music. A few $k for basic PC/editing hardware. You could easily have a "station" streaming on the net for total startup costs of less than $10k.
As a listener, a virtually unlimited number of streams to choose from is great. As a broadcaster, having a barrier to entry keeps everyone from running their own stream.
Broadcasters can no longer afford to argue about music royalties for streaming. If royalties are set to high, no one will stream. We've been there before. If royalties are set too low, everyone will stream. While that may sound like a good thing for the listener, In my opinion, it kills the music business model. As a listener we want something for nothing. We want as many choices as the "market" will provide. As a broadcaster, moderate cost streaming gives us an opportunity to battle our new competitors, satellite and iPods. Cheap streaming changes that from an opportunity to a third competitor. We can't afford to be reduced to the same level as me personally streaming a $2k music library from my basement.
As long as the rates are similar for everyone, I think it's fair. As long as the rates are directly tied to the number of people using the service, I think it's fair. The royalty companies can either deal with collecting fees from 12k radio stations (probably from less than 1000 independent owners) or they can try to collect from a million(?) independents.
Clearly just my opinion,