direct deals

Company will deliver custom local deals to car dashboards

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 12:00pm

Ford SYNCRoximity aims to bring personalized, local deals and offers to drivers through dashboard systems like Ford SYNC. In fact, the service even won the Ford SYNC App Developer Challenge last year.

The service recently raised $500,000 in investment, reports The Next Web. And it says to look forward to "big announcements" coming in early August.

An interesting service, Roximity may prove to be another example of digital services edging in on territory traditionally held by AM/FM radio.

You can find more coverage from The Next Web here.

Growing audiences for online, satellite radio push quarterly SoundExchange distributions past $100M mark

Monday, June 18, 2012 - 11:15am

SoundExchange today announced it has made $1 billion in royalty distributions to copyright owners since its inception in 2000 (read the press release here). What's more, this year SoundExchnage's quarterly payments have topped $100 million.

Today's New York Times suggests the story is good news for the organization, which "has been criticized for being slow to pay everyone who is owed royalties. At the end of 2010, the last date for which audited accounts are available, SoundExchange was holding $132 million..." for performers it couldn't reach and performances that couldn't be accounted for.

The paper also suggests SoundExchange is now challenged by "direct deals" between major content licensees like SiriusXM (which is suing SoundExchange for allegedly interfering in such deals) and Clear Channel (with its well-publicized Big Machine Records deal) and copyright owners.

Read more in The New York Times here. Also, SoundExchange's 2011 annual report is here

Satellite radio operator complaint accuses record industry groups of anti-competitive behavior

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 12:45pm

U.S. satellite radio provider Sirius XM has filed a lawsuit against SoundExchange and the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), accusing the record industry organziations of interfering with its efforts to directly license the sound recordings. The complaint accuses SoundExchange and A2IM of being in violation of federal antitrust law, and New York state law.

The satellite radio firm, like webcasters, pays the owners of recording copyrights (that is, record labels) royalties to play music. Sirius XM reportedly pays SoundExchange 8% of its gross revenues for all the music it uses on its over-the-air programming, which SoundExchange distributes to the labels.

But this agreement ends this year, and the record industry will likely be pushing for significantly higher rates beginning in 2013. Moreover, Sirius XM says it wants a single license covering all its platforms (satellite, Internet, and mobile). So, "instead of relying exclusively on licenses either negotiated with SoundExchange acting as the record industry's collective or on the outcome of regulatory rate-making proceedings," Sirius XM felt it could get more competitive royalty rates by licensing music directly from the labels themselves, cutting SoundExchange out of the equation. In 2010, it began what it calls its Direct Licensing Initiative, offering labels rates of 5%-7% of "defined" revenues (see more RAIN here and here). Though they met with some success (Sirius XM says it has managed to secure almost 80 direct licenses with copyright owners), the company insists it would have been able to get many more if not for the alleged interference.

Sirius XM now contends that SoundExchange and A2IM, "along with major music industry organizations, have organized a boycott to prevent independent record companies from negotiating direct licenses with SiriusXM," alleging an "orchestrated effort" to prevent potential licensing partners from negotiating directly with Sirius XM.  

Sirius XM published a press release on the suit, which you can read here. There's coverage from The Wall Street Journal here, and Reuters here, Radio-Info here, and more here.

Industry legal expert David Oxenford examines the implications of this news for webcast licensing, in today's B story.

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