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“We were not surprised.” Jon Stephenson, head of Live365, on the new CRB royalty rates

In a continuing follow-up to Friday’s CRB (Copyright Royalty Board) ruling on non-interactive music streaming royalty rates (called Web V), we spoke to Jon Stephenson, CEO of Media Creek, the parent company of webcasting platform Live365. Good planning and a big platform are easing the transition into a new royalty-rate period. Continue Reading

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“A higher barrier to entry.” “Will they double again in 5 years?” Two renowned webcasters share CRB reactions.

As the CRB unleashes higher music licensing fees for webcasters, we ask two pioneering and enduring webcasters for their reactions. Rusty Hodge (SomaFM) and Bill Goldsmith (Radio Paradise) gave us insights and wishes for the industry. Should there be a zero-royalty zone? And how will YouTube play in this field? Continue Reading

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Copyright Royalty Board unleashes new royalty rates for internet radio and streaming music

Delayed five months by Covid, the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) released its new government-regulated royalty rates for the use of recordings on non-interactive streaming. This every-five-year exercise is a crucial business factor for commercial and non-commercial companies which stream music to American audiences. The rate goes up, and minimum payments per channel double. Click for details. Continue Reading

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Spotify’s Discovery Mode under query by Congress: The issues and actions

Spotify CEO and Chairman Daniel Ek has received a letter from the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Congress. The letter questions the working and purpose of Spotify’s relatively new “Discovery Mode,” a promotional tool offered to recording artists and record labels which influences which songs get onto listener playlists in exchange for lower royalty rates when those placements are streamed — a potential payola issue. Click for an explanation of Discovery Mode and the complete letter. Continue Reading

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David Oxenford: Copyright Royalty Board Decision on Webcasting Royalties Expected by June 14 – What Will the Streaming Rates for 2021-2025 Be?

by David Oxenford

This vital guest column by David Oxenford summarizes the royalty rate arguments put before the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) for a ruling expected by mid-June. In normal times that ruling would have been delivered before January 1, but this every-five-year cycle has been delayed by Covid. The outcome will chart the financial course for webcasters of all sizes in the 2021-2025 period.
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Mechanical Licensing Collective hires three execs

The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC), the government-appointed and regulated agency for collecting and distributing blanket compulsory mechanical license for digital music services, has hired three new executives. The MLC was formed from the Music Modernaization Act of 2018. Last month the unit received a first stash of $424-million in royalty payments from Apple, Spotify, Google, Pandora, and 15 other streaming entites for distribution.  Continue Reading

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ASCAP and BMI jointly comment on DOJ review of consent decrees in a middle-road acceptance of no change

ASCAP sent us an open letter written jointly with BMI to Makan Delrahim, the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice. The subject is a recently concluded DoJ review of consent decrees, the government regulated law which compels ASCAP and BMI to license creative musical works at a set royalty structure. ASCAP and BMI don’t like being compelled. Congress doesn’t like choking a pipeline of content availability to distributors. The latest result is that the 80-year-old law will continue without change for now … and there was an unexpected twist in the proceedings. Continue Reading

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Local Radio Freedom Act resolution reaches majority support; musicFIRST replies

It’s not binding legislation. The Local Radio Freedom Act is a resolution bill which declares support among House Representatives in D.C. for opposing a performance royalty levied on American radio. As of this week, with the addition of 12 new signatures, the current House of  Representatives is not majority aligned against a royalty … which the NAB calls a “tax.” Advocacy group musicFIRST sent us an opposition statement. Continue Reading

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Michael Robertson: Is the Spotify Deal With Joe Rogan Illegal?

by Michael Robertson

This guest contribution by iconic digital audio entrepreneur Michael Robertson digs into the U.S. copyright code and finds a statute which might relate to, and potentially invalidate, Spotify’s exclusive distribution deal with Joe Rogan. Continue Reading