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7digital to license access to DMCA-compliant streaming, 25M licensed tracks to U.S. webcasters

Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 12:05pm

London-based 7digital is releasing its "DMCA-compliant" music streaming platform to would-be U.S. webcasters. Turntable.fm's Piki service (more in RAIN here) is already using the 7digital service to stream.

7digital provides its digital music store and other related services to consumer electronics companies like Samsung and music services like Turntable.fm.

The company's streaming radio API is meant to make it easy to launch an Internet radio service that adheres to the restrictions of the U.S. law known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. (The law limits the ways in which "non-interactive" services can present and make music available to consumers.) The streaming API also affords access to 7digital's full catalog of more than 25 million tracks of licensed music.

7digital thinks there's real appeal to consumers and a growing market for curated, "non-interactive, DMCA-compliant" services -- that is, Internet radio.

The company's president for North America Vickie Nauman told TechCrunch, "It's such a great lean-back experience and we’ve been watching the marketplace and we feel that the partners that we have that are doing really well, combined with the need people have for a really easy way to listen to their music have led us to decide that this year we're really going to focus on radio."

7digital CEO and founder Ben Drury spoke at the recent RAIN Summit Europe conference in Brussels. Hear audio of the entire conference with SoundCloud. The links are in the right-hand margin of kurthanson.com.

Read more in TechCrunch here.

Spotify too says it needs to pay less for music to make biz work

Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 11:20am

Leading on-demand music subscription service Spotify has begun license renewal negotiations with the major labels, and is reportedly petitioning for "substantial price breaks" and the right to stream its free/ad-supported service to mobile devices, The Verge reports.

Spotify finds itself in the same boat as webcasters: the high cost of content acquisition is its foremost obstacle to running a viable business. And as on-demand streaming is not governed by statutory rates (like non-interactive webcasting), Spotify pays in the neighborhood of 70% of its revenue to access music. In addition to the license fees, Spotify also wants the labels to allow its ad-supported free tier for mobile devices beyond the current 30 day trial.

Perhaps unlike Pandora's (and other webcasters') hopes for content cost relief, The Verge sees things in Spotify's favor. "The labels are big fans of the subscription model, which gives them predictable income across their entire catalog," The Verge writes. "The major labels have a vested interest in making sure subscription-based music continues to grow and thrive."

Read more here.

Gates' Corbis launches online music-licensing firm

Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 12:30pm

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates' privately-held Corbis has launched GreenLight Music, an online music service to allow customers to license music for the web, advertising, and other professional uses.

The service offers over a million songs from "the Big Four" (Warner, EMI, Universal, and Sony). According to reports, customers bid for the use of avaialble songs, then negotiate with labels for the final price.

A GreenLight spokesman says the company has no plans at present to create a consumer-targeted online music service.

Read more from Newsday here.

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