Music Business

Pandora To Pay Sony/ATV 25% Higher Rate

image from medillmoneymavens.comJust last month Pandora was in Washington asking for lower rates. Now comes a report that they've agreed to pay more. Music publisher Sony/ATV has independently negotiated a 25% increase in royalties from Pandora, according to the New York Post.  The result is likely to be more publishers demanding higher rates.

Sony/ATV, a joint venture of Sony and the Michael Jackson estate, won the big increase for the next 12 months after it pulled digital rights from BMI and ASCAP on Jan. 1st.  Sony/ATV declined to comment, but CEO Martin Bandier, told The Post: “At the end of the day, we got a terrific deal for our songwriters. Our thinking has been vindicated. Hopefully it’s the first of many.”

Pandora has repeatedly argued that it can not contniue to pay high royalty rates and survive.

The majority of royalties paid by the music streamer go to SoundExchange on behalf of artists and record labels. A much smaller share, estimated at 4% of Pandora's gross revenue of $275 million, goes to ASCAP, BMI and now increasingly direct to publishers like Sony/ATV on behalf of copyright holders.

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