This week Pandora negotiated directly with Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the largest music publishers, to acquire continued use of UMPG recordings in its streaming stations. BMI recently won a court judgment against Pandora, which allowed its client publishing companies (like UMPG) to escape the government-set “consent decree,” which provides a blanket usage license to listening outlets like Pandora. Pandora normally sticks with government-set rates, but was nudged onto the direct-negotiating path by that surprising court decision. Read more.
We thought Pandora’s uncharacteristic behavior, even though forced by external circumstances, might be indicative of a future trend. With publishers clearly wishing to have more negotiating freedom to forge direct deals with large platforms (Pandora in particular), are BMI andASCAP (which represent most of the publishing realm) becoming less important? What is the future of the complicated royalty-setting process in the U.S. market?
We turned to Casey Rae, Interim Executive Director of the Future of Music Coalition in Washington, for answers. Read more.