Sony/ATV's Martin Bandier is threatening to withdraw all rights from ASCAP and BMI. Most major music publishers are looking to withdraw digital rights from the PROs and negotiate direct deals with digital services due to low royalty rates for publishers from digital services. Withdrawing digital rights from the PROs presents challenges to publishers like licensing to small businesses. Martin Bandier, the CEO of Sony/ATV has made it clear that if the Decrees are not amended he will “explore other options”.
An ongoing battle with YouTube over alleged heavy handed negotiating tactics and unfair terms for their unlaunched subscription music service, has united the global independent music community on the broader issue of fairness in all digital deals. In a not so veiled jab at YouTube and other digital services, global indie trade group WIN has released an open letter signed by more than 700 independent labels that calls for fair digital music deals.
"The big print giveth and the small print taketh away.”
Bop.fm has raised $2 Million in funding from Charles River Venutures. Launched in December 2013 by CEO Shehzad Daredia, the startup music streaming service provides a single platform for users listen to any song from any music service. With Rdio, Beats, Deezer, Spotify, Youtube, and Soundcloud integrated into their system, Bop.fm is attempting to bridge the gap between the several growing music services that may have different catalogs available. The company has also verified several of their artists and included tour dates, song lyrics, and playlists in their profiles. They hope that artists will also use their link to reach the user base of each service. With the new funding, the startup will allow their 6 employee staff to hire more engineers and expand their growing listener base.
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Google has acquired Songza for a financial figure undisclosed to the public. Launched in 2010, the music streaming app is designed to curate playlists for a listener according to their mood. Unlike other competitors, Songza doesn’t use algorithms, they employ over 50 employees to create playlists for specific settings including weather, special activities, and moods. Google plans to bring on all of Songza’s current staff and eventually incorporate the service into Google’s “Google Play Music” and the new subscription based Youtube Music streaming service. Early investors in the company were music executives Scooter Braun and Troy Carter who manage the careers of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.