The rise of digital music has cultivated an "instant rockstar" mentality amongst aspiring musicians. Everything can be digitally edited, overlayed, autotuned, re-mastered, etc. so the emphasis on strong musicianship has the potential to get a little lost in the pursuit of quick results. Video games such as Guitar Hero, Singstar, Rock Band, and several others could be easily mistaken for music lessons or instrumental tutorials, but can a game with a severely skewed representation actually teach us more about being musicians? Probably not... unless you're Rocksmith.
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.