Contract for YouTube Premium Music Service Leaked Online

A full 32-page version of YouTube’s contract for its upcoming premium music subscription service has been leaked online through the blog Digital Music News. So far, the most controversial clause included in the contract concerns the ability of major labels to agree upon lowered rates and therefore influence the rate of royalties paid to independent labels. The leaked contract was drafted to send to these independent labels, but is not a reflection of the actual signed deals.  Continue reading Contract for YouTube Premium Music Service Leaked Online

Labels File Copyright Suit Against Pandora Under State Law

Major record labels Sony, Universal and Warner Music, along with indie label ABKCO, filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan last week, claiming that streaming music service Pandora is violating New York’s common-law copyright protections by using songs recorded prior to 1972 without licenses. The suit acknowledges that older songs are not protected under federal copyright, but contends that Pandora needs permission to use them under state law. Continue reading Labels File Copyright Suit Against Pandora Under State Law

Pandora Points to Royalty Costs for Jump in Subscription Rate

Pandora announced that it plans to increase the monthly subscription rate to its premium, ad-free Pandora One service by 25 percent for new subscribers starting in May (an increase from $3.99-a-month to $4.99-a-month). “The costs of delivering this service have grown considerably,” explains the Pandora Blog. “For example, the royalty rates Pandora pays to performers via SoundExchange for subscription listening have increased 53 percent in the last five years and will increase another 9 percent in 2015.” Continue reading Pandora Points to Royalty Costs for Jump in Subscription Rate

Beats Creates Playlists Based on Your Mood, Location, Friends

A new streaming service, Beats Music, is hitting the market in a new AT&T subscription model that will bundle it with smartphone data service, and offer it to as many as five users on the same plan. It will also stand alone as an app for smartphones with free and paid versions, available next week. Beats comes at a time when music lovers have the option to stream, download or listen to the radio, and the streaming market in particular is saturated with endless options of services. Continue reading Beats Creates Playlists Based on Your Mood, Location, Friends

Streaming Music Services Struggle to Recruit Paid Subscribers

Similar to how CD sales gave way to download sales, digital downloads are now giving way to on-demand music streaming. But despite their surging popularity, streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify are having a difficult time getting their listeners to pay for subscriptions. The overwhelming majority of subscribers would rather put up with ads for the free version than shell out money for unlimited, uninterrupted music. Continue reading Streaming Music Services Struggle to Recruit Paid Subscribers

Democratic Congressman Proposes Free Market Royalty Act

Representative Melvin Watt (D – North Carolina) introduced the Free Market Royalty Act this week, which would allow record companies and artists to collect royalties when their songs are played on the radio. The bill would change licensing for broadcast radio and online services, and stations like Pandora would have to negotiate with rights holders. This bill has transformational potential, for while songwriters and music publishers receive compensation on the radio, the artists themselves do not. Continue reading Democratic Congressman Proposes Free Market Royalty Act

Federal Court Rules Pandora Can License Music for Streaming

Pandora Media, provider of streaming online music, won a legal victory on Tuesday in its ongoing battle with the music industry involving licensing and royalties. A federal court ruled that the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers cannot stop Pandora from licensing all the music in their catalog. The service’s attempts to reduce its costs have made it a target in the music industry, but the larger effect of the ruling remains unclear. Continue reading Federal Court Rules Pandora Can License Music for Streaming

Clear Channel-Warner Deal Underlines Digital Licensing Issues

Clear Channel Communications announced a deal late last week with the Warner Music Group through which Warner’s acts will collect royalties when their songs are played on Clear Channel’s 850 stations. This will mark the first time that the music label and its acts — which include Bruno Mars, CeeLo Green, Coldplay and Green Day — will collect payments from Clear Channel. In exchange for the deal and promotion for its acts, Clear Channel will receive a favorable rate for online streaming. Continue reading Clear Channel-Warner Deal Underlines Digital Licensing Issues

Music Publishing Turmoil: BMI Files Lawsuit Against Pandora

Music licensing giant Broadcast Music Inc. filed a suit yesterday against online music service Pandora at the U.S. Southern District Federal Court in New York. BMI has ended negotiations for publishing rates and is now seeking a determination of rates for a blanket license that covers all music streamed on Pandora. The filing follows Pandora’s controversial attempt to pay lower publishing rates by acquiring a South Dakota terrestrial radio station, in order to become eligible for the blanket license fee. Continue reading Music Publishing Turmoil: BMI Files Lawsuit Against Pandora

Fleetwood Mac and Clear Channel Agree on Revenue-Sharing

Clear Channel, which owns the iHeartRadio online music service and about 800 radio stations, announced this week that it will pay Fleetwood Mac a percentage of radio-advertising revenue in exchange for playing the band’s newest music via online services. As Internet radio and subscription services impact the music business, Clear Channel has initiated deals with labels for digital use of music in exchange for a share of airplay revenue. Fleetwood Mac is the first to close such a deal directly. Continue reading Fleetwood Mac and Clear Channel Agree on Revenue-Sharing

Apple Inks Deal with Warner Music: Preps Streaming Service

Insiders suggest Apple is closer to launching its anticipated streaming music service for iTunes. Over the weekend, the company agreed to a licensing deal with Warner Music Group for rights to its recorded music and music publishing. According to people familiar with the matter, Apple is offering Warner’s publishing arm 10 percent of ad revenue, which is more than twice what Pandora currently pays major music publishers. Continue reading Apple Inks Deal with Warner Music: Preps Streaming Service

Kindle Worlds: Amazon Debuts Fan Fiction Publishing Platform

Amazon announced Kindle Worlds yesterday, a digital publishing platform that enables fan fiction authors to publish under official licenses and receive royalties. The current deal is limited to “Gossip Girl,” “Pretty Little Liars” and “The Vampire Diaries” from Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment, but Amazon promises licenses for more Worlds in the future. Stories will be made available via Amazon.com, Kindle devices, iOS, Android and Kindle Free Reading apps. Continue reading Kindle Worlds: Amazon Debuts Fan Fiction Publishing Platform

Will Spotify Be Next to Develop Video Streaming Service?

It seems a number of major media companies are looking to get into streaming video as it continues to grow more popular. On-demand music service Spotify is the latest company rumored to be in the planning stages of such a service, perhaps a surprise to many since its focus has thus far strictly involved music. But two sources say Spotify intends to grow into an on-demand music and video service, including original content. Continue reading Will Spotify Be Next to Develop Video Streaming Service?

Royalties for Satellite Radio Companies to Increase Through 2017

The Copyright Royalty Board has ruled to increase royalties for satellite radio services. Sirius XM Radio currently pays 8 percent of its gross revenue in royalties, but this will increase to 11 percent by 2017, reports The New York Times. The satellite radio companies will pay the royalties to nonprofit SoundExchange, which then distributes the royalties to labels and musicians. Continue reading Royalties for Satellite Radio Companies to Increase Through 2017