Clear Channel and Wind-Up Records strike royalties deal

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 2:15pm

There's now yet another "marketplace" deal between Clear Channel and a record label -- this time, Wind-Up Records -- that will have the broadcaster pay a share of ad revenue for its broadcast of the label's music. In exchange, Clear Channel gets a discount on its royalty obligation when it streams the same music.

One reason deals like this are significant is broadcasters in the U.S. are not compelled to pay copyright owners or performers for the broadcast use of copyright sound recordings. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, however, requires payment for the digital use (e.g. webcasting, satellite radio, cable radio) of this material. While the music industry has long bemoaned broadcasters' free over-the-air use of its intellectual property, Internet radio and other digital services have chafed under royalty obligations that can amount to half (or more) of revenues.

Such agreements could be a sign that broadcasters like Clear Channel understand the broadcast royalty exemption may not last forever, and what's more, online delivery of content is becoming more and more vital to radio. On the other side, labels like Wind-Up perhaps see that webcasting in their future too.

Industry legal expert and authority on royalties David Oxenford has written that these deals could be pivotal in upcoming government deliberations on setting a statutory U.S. webcasting royalty rate. Without actual marketplace royalty agreements, Copyright Royalty Board judges have so far been compelled to use the "willing buyer willing seller" standard and set royalties where they think a hypothetical market players would settle. And so far, all of those determinations have been wildly in the record companies' favor.

When Clear Channel's "royalty swap" agreement with the Big Machine Label Group was announced, Oxenford wrote, "the pro-record company outcome of the CRB proceedings may well be changed if these deals can be shown to be representative of the real value of the public performance of the sound recording." (Read more in RAIN here.)

Oxenford moderated "The Song Plays On," a panel discussion concerning webcast royalties, Sunday at RAIN Summit West.

Clear Channel has struck similar deals with Glassnote Entertainment Group, Dualtone, DashGo, rpm Entertainment, Robbins Entertainment, and Naxos.

Wind-up Records launched a number of multi-platinum rock artists, including Evanescence, Creed, Finger Eleven, and Seether, and has brought on Five for Fighting, O.A.R. and The Darkness, among others.

Listeners expect audio ads with radio, but other mobile ads are intrusive, says expert

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 12:20pm

American Public Media's Marketplace Morning Report host Jeremy Hobson this morning said, "You know, I have to say, in all the mobile advertising that I experience in my life the only ones that I actually pay attention to are when I'm listening to Pandora and I hear, basically, a radio ad for thirty seconds or something like that... I listen to those."

Hobson was speaking with Derek Thompson, senior editor at The Atlantic, about Thompson's recent article on the ineffectiveness of most mobile advertising.

"Mobile platforms, from phones to tablets, now command one-tenth of our media attention, but only one one-hundredth of total ad spending," Thompson wrote here.

He explains how advertising has powered much of the information and entertainment media for decades. But now advertising on mobile platforms, which is where our attention is headed, isn't working. Thompson calls it a "business crisis."

One of the reasons, he says, is that we simply don't expect to get "advertised to" on our mobile devices. So when ads do come, they just seem intrusive and get in our face, and it makes us less likely to engage with that which is advertised.

But the difference with audio ads in an Internet radio stream is that we're comfortable with advertising when it appears in familiar places. We've heard audio ads on radio all our lives, and we're familiar with the concept of advertising between songs on the radio. We're simply still uncomfortable with it in mobile, and until marketers and publishers can figure out how to change that, Thompson's "business crisis" will continue.

Hear the (very short) audio interview from Marketplace here.

Slacker debuts customizable stations for public radio AAA The Current and APM's Marketplace

Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 12:20pm

The Current on SlackerAmerican Public Media and Slacker have partnered to launch new customizable web radio stations filled with content from APM's Marketplace and Minnesota Public Radio's The Current.

The Current is one of the country's top public Triple A music stations (KCMP, 89.3 FM), based out of St. Paul, Minnesota. The Current's Slacker station will "highlight great emerging artists from around the country, as well as feature the best music out of Minnesota, past and present," the companies said. Find it here.

Meanwhile, Slacker's Marketplace channel will include "the Marketplace flagship programs, Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal, Marketplace Morning Report, Marketplace Tech Report and Marketplace Money. Listeners can interact with the station to create a personalized Marketplace program tailored to their interests, a first for Marketplace." Find the new station here.

Slacker also offers programming from ESPN Radio, ABC News and other services. You can find the companies' press release here.

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