SoundExchange, Pureplay Webcasters Set New Royalty Rates ... Endorsed By Pandora
July 7, 2009 at 2:38 PM (PT)
SOUNDEXCHANGE reached an agreement for sound recording royalty rates with several "Pureplay" webcasters that will be good for the period of 2006-2015. The new terms offer rates less than those set by the Copyright Royalty Board for large webcasters, and offers smaller webcasters percentage-based payment options.
The three webcasters who negotiated and signed onto the deal with SOUNDEXCHANGE are ACCURADIO, DIGITALLY IMPORTED and RADIOIO. However, other Internet-only webcasters such as PANDORA -- whose survival was otherwise in question -- should also be eligible to elect the license. In a post on its website, PANDORA Founder TIM WESTERGREN heartly endorsed the new deal.
For more than two years now I have been eagerly anticipating the day when I could finally write these words: the royalty crisis is over!
It's up to individual webcasters to decide whether they want to be covered by the new "Pureplay" license. They recommend the deal for webcasters that "[derive] an overwhelming portion of their revenue from the streaming of sound recordings."
After the agreement is published in the Federal Register later this month, webcasters will have 30 days to decide if they will opt into the agreement. Any webcaster doing so must elect to withdraw from the appeal process of the CRB rates.
RAIN offers more details here.
Pandora Buys In
In a post on the PANDORA website, Founder TIM WESTERGREN heartily endorsed the new deal" "For more than two years now I have been eagerly anticipating the day when I could finally write these words: the royalty crisis is over!
"PANDORA is finally on safe ground with a long-term agreement for survivable royalty rates," he wrote. "This ensures that PANDORA will continue streaming music for many years to come!
To be sure, a new "pass-along" rate hike is being implmented: "The revised royalties are quite high -- higher, in fact, than any other form of radio," WESTERGREN continued. "As a consequence, we will have to make an adjustment that will affect about 10% of our users who are our heaviest listeners. Specifically, we are going to begin limiting listening to 40 hours per month on the free version of PANDORA. In any given month, a listener who hits this limit can then opt for unlimited listening for the remainder of that month for just $0.99. In essence, we're asking our heaviest users to put a dollar (well, almost a dollar) in the tip jar in any month in which they listen over 40 hours."