Pandora battling rising publishing rates, but UMPG deal said to be highest rate it's ever paid

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Issue Date: 
Jul 3 2013 - 10:35am

From Issue:

Even while Pandora sues to prevent large music publishing groups from withdrawing from its requested deal with ASCAP, the webcaster has gone ahead and secured a direct deal with Universal Music Publishing Group.

The deal is reportedly based on "the highest rate the Internet webcaster has ever paid to the music publishing sector," reports Billboard.

"Sources speculate that UMPG and the other large publishers seeking direct deals may have benefitted by the 10% rate that publishers will get from Apple’s iTunes Radio service," the news source reports.

[The licensing in question for this story is for the use of copyright song compositions, administered by publishers often grouped in "performance rights organizations" like ASCAP and BMI. This story does not involve sound recording copyrights.]

After Pandora and ASCAP began negotiating terms for a renewal license, several large publishers announced they'd withdraw "digital use" rights from ASCAP, in order to secure more lucrative "direct deals." The webcaster says the publishers have to stay in the ASCAP blanket and are still operating under the "consent decree," and are asking a court to compel them to do so. The court is expected to have a decision later this month.

"In cutting a deal with UMPG, Pandora has averted potential liability for its use of the publisher’s catalog," Billboard explains. "If it hadn’t reached and agreement and the ASCAP rate court judge ruled against Pandora on the consent decree motion, the service as of July 1 would have been in violation of copyright."

Read more in Billboard here.

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The rates are always rising.

The rates are always rising. There is no question about that one. They need to adjust few things, that's all. - Aldo Disorbo

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