Pandora has added another direct licensing deal to its arsenal, this time with independent outfit SONGS Music Publishing. Details of the multi-year agreement were not disclosed. However, the press release announcing the arrangement said the deal would allow SONGS (which represented 5% of all U.S. airplay in Q3 2015) to deliver improved performance royalties to its songwriters. On the other side, it emphasized the perks of greater rate certainty and flexibility with product offering for Pandora.
“Now is the time to move past the over-regulation of songwriter rights and towards a market-based approach to streaming music,” SONGS founder and CEO Matt Pincus said. “This agreement is a big step forward in a long conversation about fair and equitable compensation for all songwriters and publishers.”
As the subject of royalty payments becomes increasingly heated in the streaming music space, Pandora has been a leader in pursuing direct deals with publishers and labels. It first inked an arrangement with Merlin, representing a collection independent labels. Since then, Pandora has also successfully negotiated deals with Sony/ATV and with classical specialist Naxos.