[…]Over the past year, Merlin has also struck several major deals that run counter to what major labels have been willing to do. It recently agreed to work with SoundCloud, the massive streaming site that has been described as the YouTube of audio while also drawing criticism for widespread copyright infringement. Before that, it signed a deal with Pandora, which previously hadn’t reached deals directly with labels, opting to use so-called compulsory licenses where the rates are set by the government. In its deal with Pandora, Merlin agreed to per-stream rates that can be lower than it would have gotten otherwise, in exchange for a commitment from Pandora to play songs from its labels more often. read more
Who gets paid, how much and under what terms when music is played on digital and AM/FM radio? Answering those questions isn’t easy, even for experts. But one thing is clear: 2014 has been a big year for the laws and policies that determine royalty rates for all forms of radio, and the intrigue will likely continue into 2015. read more
Today, news broke that Merlin—a global rights agency representing independent labels—entered into a deal with Internet radio leader Pandora that seems to align the incentives of both parties while maintaining direct payment to artists.
Overall, we are glad to see a major music service commit to better serving indies using technology, and with a shared goal of growing audiences for that music (and thereby generating more revenue).