Copyright Office Ruling Boosts Pandora, May Impact Streaming Royalty Rates
September 22, 2015 at 4:21 AM (PT)
PANDORA MEDIA's private deal with U.K.-based rights agency MERLIN for U.S. licensing received the Copyright Office seal of approval for consideration by the Copyright Royalty Board in its determination of rates and terms for streaming music royalties FRIDAY (9/18). The deal will be used as a benchmark for the CRB's consideration of statutory license rates and terms for webcasting in the 2016-2020 time frame.
The decision may have a positive impact for digital music services and broadcasters on streaming royalty rates moving forward, since the new rates, due by DECEMBER 16th, are being determined based on market rates if the statutory license did not exist, and PANDORA's MERLIN deal will be used as an example of what rates would look like in a market-based field.
PANDORA, the stock of which has been rising since the decision, issued a statement by spokesman DAVE GRIMALDI saying, “We are pleased that the Copyright Office affirmed the admissibility of PANDORA’s agreement with MERLIN as a valid benchmark in the Copyright Royalty Board proceedings. We look forward to the certainty that DECEMBER’s decision will bring, and are prepared to thrive in a number of potential outcomes. Our investments in the business are providing real return, including almost $1.5 billion in royalties to date. We are excited about the future of ad-supported music streaming and the benefits it brings to consumers and music makers alike."