@musictechpolicy: Why Can’t Pandora Find Over One Million Songwriters for its Spotify Competitor?

Pandora Media, Inc. has launched its long-awaited Pandora Premium on-demand competitor to Spotify according to reports from journalists who previewed the platform.

Pandora built Pandora Premium on top of its 2015 acquisition of RDIO’s assets in a controversial bankruptcy and is reportedly leveraging its Music Genome technology that allows Pandora to build on-demand playlists based on an artist’s name or work. Premium evidently transposes Pandora “stations” to Premium “playlists” with what sounds like largely the same functionality, including transferring “thumbs up” ratings in the historical interactive/noninteractive webcasting service. The Premium service evidently uses prior choices to recommend future music in the known-unknown dichotomy. And of course it sounds like you can download all the tracks.

What is different about Pandora’s on-demand service is that it implicates a license for songs that Pandora did not have to obtain for its webcasting service—the mechanical license for on-demand services and downloads. Pandora is evidently negotiating direct deals with major publishers and also is trying to encourage other songwriters to sign up to a “standard” mechanical license.

According to Rightscorp CEO Christopher Sabec, Pandora has filed approximately 1,193, 346 “address unknown” NOIs with the Copyright Office between April 2016 and January 28, 2017. I have been informed by other sources that representatives of Pandora have stated that the company intends to pay statutory royalties retroactively for any songwriter who comes forward and complies with the formality of registration, but I have yet to see a public statement by Pandora of this intention.

@jonesjourno: SONGWRITERS FIGHT APPLE, SPOTIFY, GOOGLE, AMAZON AND PANDORA OVER STREAMING RATES

Over 2,000 songwriters have signed a petition demanding better mechanical royalties for interactive streaming from Google, Apple, Amazon, Spotify and Pandora.

The campaign has launched ahead of a court hearing in Washington today (March 8) where the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) will determine rates for the next five years.

The tech giants are expected to argue to reduce the amount they pay, while the National Music Publisher’s Association and the Nashville Songwriters Association International will lobby for an increase.

Read the post on MusicBusinessWorldwide

@musictechsolve: Christopher Sabec and Rightscorp Tackle Songwriters’ Copyright Office Problem

Rightscorp has created a solution to help songwriters fight the oppressive mass filing of millions of “address unknown” NOIs through a little known procedure at the Library of Congress and Copyright Office. Rightscorp CEO Christopher Sabec fills us in.

via Mass NOI Update:  Christopher Sabec and Rightscorp Tackle the Copyright Office Problem  — Music Tech Solutions

@jonathantaplin: Forget AT&T. The Real Monopolies Are Google and Facebook.

The proposed merger of AT&T and Time Warner has drawn censure from both sides of the political aisle, as well as a Senate hearing that looked into the potential for the combined company to become a monopoly.

But if we are going to examine media monopolies, we should look first at Silicon Valley, not the fading phone business.

Mark Cuban, the internet entrepreneur, said at the meeting of the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee last week that the truly dominant companies in media distribution these days were Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon.

“Facebook is without question in a dominant position, if not the dominant position, for content delivery,” he said.

Look at the numbers. Alphabet (the parent company of Google) and Facebook are among the 10 largest companies in the world. Alphabet alone has a market capitalization of around $550 billion. AT&T and Time Warner combined would be about $300 billion.

Read the Post on The New York Times

@edchristman: @IrvingAzoff’s Global Music Rights Files Suit Against Radio Industry Body Over Monopolistic Practices

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The radio industry is about to learn what many others already have — when you push Irving Azoff, he pushes back. Usually harder.

After nearly two years of negotiations over licensing rates for radio song plays, the Radio Licensing Music Committee (RMLC) recently “ambushed” Global Music Rights (GMR) — the nascent U.S. performance rights organization launched in late 2013 by Azoff, in conjunction with MSG Entertainment and with former ASCAP executive Randy Grimmett at the helm — with an antitrust lawsuit filed in the U.S. Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania on Nov. 18.

That was followed by the filing, on Dec. 6, Daniel Petrocelli and his firm O’Melveny & Myers of an antitrust suit on behalf of GMR against the RLMC in the U.S. Central District Court of California. Petrocelli stresses that the suit is not retaliatory, but was filed to fight the RLMC’s “collusive tactics to depress [the] prices” that radio stations pay songwriters.

Azoff, the legendary artist manager who began GMR because he felt songwriters were getting shortchanged in performance licensing, tells Billboard that he takes “artist rights very seriously. I grew up around guys named Lew Wasserman[former head of MCA, now known as Universal Music Group] and Steve Ross [who created Warner Music Group], who taught me to respect talent. We feel that they [the RMLC] violated respect for talent. We didn’t start this fight, but we aren’t going away.”

Read the post on Billboard

@ashleycullins: Flo & Eddie [The Turtles] Settle With SiriusXM on Eve of California Trial

[Editor Charlie sez:  Thank you Howard, Mark and their attorney Henry Gradstein!]

The Turtles and SiriusXM may not quite be “Happy Together,” but they’re one step closer now that they’ve settled a California federal lawsuit over oldies royalties on the eve of trial.

Pre-1972 sound recordings aren’t protected by federal copyright. So, until recently, rightsholders weren’t being compensated for hits played on digital channels like SiriusXM Radio’s ’60s on 6.

Two of The Turtles, Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, who are known as Flo & Eddie, won summary judgment  in 2014 when the court found Sirius’ use of their music violates public performance rights. The trial was set to determine exactly how big of a check Sirius would have to write to fairly compensate the artists.

Details of the settlement are scarce, but attorneys filed a joint notice with the court on Monday.

Read the post on The Hollywood Reporter.

@RobertBLevine_: Is the Record Business Really Back? How Streaming Is (And Isn’t) Turning a Profit

For the last few years, Barclays’ annual research reports about the music industry reflected the challenges of a business in ­transition — or, more specifically, one that had slowed a rapid decline but had not returned to growth. In 2014, as track sales fell, the bank’s report declared that “Streaming Killed the Download Star”; the 2015 edition was titled “Swimming Upstream.” But the bank’s ­latest research report, published in October and titled “Dancing Days Are Here Again,” starts with much better news: “2016 is the year recorded music appears to be ­turning a corner.”

However, it’s not time to pop the bubbly just yet. As ­streaming grows, sales of downloads and CDs are ­plunging — by 22.1 ­percent and 12.7 percent, ­respectively, in the first nine months of 2016, according to Nielsen Music — and it still remains to be seen just how many casual fans will pony up for ­subscriptions when music is available for free on YouTube and Spotify’s ad-supported tier. While streaming has been great for the major labels, its economics are rarely as ­rewarding for songwriters, ­publishers and even some labels and artists. And so far, none of the companies in the streaming ­business are making money.

In other words, if this is a ­turnaround, then it’s a fragile one. “We’re in recovery,” says Michael Nash, Universal Music Group ­executive vp digital strategy. “It’s one day at a time.”

Read the post on Billboard.