6/21/13: Pandora files motion to keep big music publishers in ASCAP deal

Paul Maloney
June 21, 2013 - 12:50pm

The latest in the "Pandora vs. copyright owners" has the webcaster filing a rate court motion insisting publishers are prohibited from withdrawing digital rights from ASCAP for the webcaster's current licensing term.

Music publishers (which control copyright song compositions) BMG Chrysalis, Universal, and Warner/Chappell have all notified ASCAP they intend to withdraw "new media" rights from the collective. Their intent is to license services like Pandora directly, with the aim of charging steeper fees than they'd get as part of an ASCAP blanket license. Pandora is asking the ASCAP rate court judge to rule whether these publishers are not, in fact, obligated to keep those as part of the collective.

The question, apparently, is whether the parties to the deal are held to its terms beginning (a) when Pandora applied for its license (covering 2011 through 2015), or (b) when the rate court actually sets a license rate (which hasn't happened yet).

Read more in Billboard here.

Paul Maloney
June 21, 2013 - 12:50pm

Subscription streamer Rdio has added "radio" functionality to its iOS app, getting its song-based personalized stations on to iPhones and iPads before Apple launches its own iTunes Radio later in the summer.

Rdio calls the feature "Song Stations," as users create streaming radio channels based on a single song. Listeners can see the next four upcoming songs, and skip as often as they like. Rdio's radio feature has been available via the web for some time.

Rdio is the $9.99/month subscription music service founded by Skype and Kazaa founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis. The company recently launched Vdio, a movie and television show streaming service.

The app is available from Apple's App Store here.

Paul Maloney
June 21, 2013 - 12:50pm

Fast Company's FastCoLabs has reviewed Apple's upcoming iTunes Radio (it's available to developers through the iOS 7 beta, which you can get here) -- and seems really enthused by the way Apple links song plays to purchase opportunities via iTunes.

"Radio was always meant to be a promotion tool, a way to sell more music," blogger Tyler Hayes wrote (he blogs at Liisten.com and contributes to Hypebot). "Now a 'buy' button lives next to every song, or a wish list one for those hesitant, and it feels like this is how modern radio should function."

Now, we've always felt that most professional webcast services make it plenty easy to buy the music you hear. But, arguably, already being "in" iTunes (and, more importantly, having those purchases affect the music you hear on your personal stations) seems pretty advantageous.

Another cool feature Hayes brings up is the "Song History," where you can go back and see what you've already heard, get a short audio sample to remind you which track it was that caught your ear 20 minutes ago, and buy it. Hayes calls it the "crown feature." He says, "iTunes Radio feels like the first truly modern take on what terrestrial radio wishes it could be."

Read the review here.