Just a few days following the announcement of Clear Channel‘s revenue-sharing deal with BBR Music, a cluster of country-music record labels, the radio group announces the latest instance of its free-market royalty deal-making prowess, this time with Stardome Media Group. Stardome represents Latin music artists, and is a creator of content for syndication to radio.
As in the past with this ongoing string of business development deals, the Clear Channel announcement is spare with details. One core element of Clear Channel’s outreach involves sharing revenue in both CC’s broadcast (radio) and digital (iHeartRadio) operations. Bundling the two realms into one agreement package solves the inequity of existing music-licensing regulations, which favor performance royalties on the digital side, but omit them on the broadcast side.
Although Clear Channel holds the details of its label agreements close to the vest, it is a widely held presumption that the radio giant offers performance royalties for broadcast play, and lower royalties on the growing digital side, in an integrated package that makes both sides happy going into the future.
The Stardome deal might be more layered or nuanced than the case of BBR Music, of Clear Channel’s largest deal of this sort, with Warner Music Group. Stardome is an artist-rep and radio-content company primarily, so its artist relationships might have a different business structure than the usual performer-label contract. But conceptually, the underpinning of all these agreements is pretty much the same: Clear Channel-owned programming gives enormous exposure to performing artists, and exposes Clear Channel to enormous royalty complications. In that framework, a single encompassing agreement can be preferable to fractured U.S. licensing regulations.