Music Publishing News Weekly Roundup: January 24, 2014
Beats Music is now available for Apple, Android, and Windows devices. Tuesday's launch presents a digital interactive streaming service that will compete with Spotify and Rdio. Beats Music costs $9.99 per month after a 7-day free trial. AT&T customers will have exclusive access to a $14.99 per month family plan, which gives up to five users full access to the service. Since Beats Music does not offer a free version and relies only on paid subscriptions, royalty rates are likely to be higher than similar services with free models. Royalty rates for Beats Music remain unknown.
Rap Genius announced a licensing agreement with UMPG for use of its artist's song lyrics. In November 2013, National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) sent a takedown notice to Rap Genius for publishing lyrics without permission. Although Rap Genius has reached agreements with UMPG and Sony/ATV, an agreement has yet to be reached with Warner/Chappell.
Universal Music Publishing Group has signed a license agreement with Pandora, allowing the streaming service to play UMPG songs in the BMI repertoire. This agreement follows a legal battle over whether publishers like UMPG had the right to withdraw digital licensing from the PROs. This new license agreement means that UMPG and its songwriters and composers will not be subject to the Pandora/BMI rate court proceeding.