Pandora has struck a deal with Merlin. The global rights agency that represents over 20,000 indie labels including Epitaph, Razor & Tie, and Wind-Up Records announced the deal with the Music-Tech giant this past Wednesday. This marks Pandora's first direct label deal and will allow Merlin's labels to negotiate royalty rates instead of paying statutory rates set by the Copyright Royalty Board. With this new deal in place, not only will Merlin’s artists see increased royalty payments, but Pandora will provide them with access to metadata that was otherwise restricted. Merlin’s artists will also now be able to use Pandora as a platform for direct-to-fan access.
Rhapsody has acquired Ex.fm and Soundtracking in an effort to compete in the growing streaming market. With this deal in place, Rhapsody plans to use the Ex.fm’s technology to help the listener base discover their favorite music within Rhapsody’s catalog. Dan Kantor, cofounder of Ex.fm will take over as V.P. of Product for Rhapsody. Rhapsody also announced its acquisition of Schematic Labs, the company behind Soundtracking. This deal will allow Rhapsody’s user base to engage in social media and music sharing while using the service.
Zac Brown has signed with SESAC. Following recent signings of catalogs from Kurt Cobain and Mariah Carey, SESAC will now represent the catalog of Grammy Award winning Zac Brown Band. Some of the band’s biggest hits are “Sweet Annie”, “Chicken Fried”, and “Colder Weather”. Their latest release “The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1” was released in December of 2013 via Southern Ground.