Sony Music Settles Months Long Dispute With Songwriting Community 

The National Music Publishers’ Association, the Nashville Songwriters Association International and Sony Music Entertainment have all submitted a joint agreement with the Copyright Royalty Board that will settle ongoing disagreements over the proposed new statutory mechanical royalty rates from 2018-2022.

Similar to NMPA’s previously announced settlement with record labels Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group, the agreement includes a roll-forward of rates covering physical products, digital downloads, and ringtones.

Source: Sony Music Settles Months Long Dispute With Songwriting Community – hypebot

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Judge Finds Sony-Spotify Agreement to Be Ambiguous in Big Royalties Lawsuit 

When listeners hear “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson on Spotify, they might not care too greatly how the exploitation of this song is characterized in contracts. But a judge’s interpretation could upend the record industry as streaming platforms continue to grab greater market share.

On Wednesday, New York federal judge Ronnie Abrams delivered a new opinion in an important lawsuit. She finds that many of the licensing agreements that Sony Music have struck with streaming outlets like Spotify, Rhapsody and Last.FM are ambiguous as to how they describe streamed music. The result is that the case will continue — perhaps eventually to trial — and heretofore confidential contracts will be dissected at length.

Source: Judge Finds Sony-Spotify Agreement to Be Ambiguous in Big Royalties Lawsuit | Billboard

Labels release cut-rate music streaming service amid shift to flexible pricing 

Two major record labels are rolling out a low-priced music streaming service in the United Kingdom, a rare foray by record companies directly into the field and another sign the industry is finally moving toward more flexible pricing.

Now That’s What I Call Music, a joint venture between Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment that releases a popular series of compilation albums, is finalizing a streaming app called NOW Music+ that will offer playlists of hit songs for $6.62 a month, or 5.99 pounds if purchased in Apple’s App Store, people familiar with the matter said.

Source: Labels release cut-rate music streaming service amid shift to flexible pricing | Reuters

Pandora Announces Licensing Deals — With Everyone But Warner Music 

Pandora has released a relatively bizarre press release this morning, announcing that it has struck licensing deals with three of the four major recording industry entities — Universal Music, Sony Music and indie label trade body Merlin — as well as Sony-owned distributor The Orchard and “over 30 other independent labels and distributors.”

When asked why the release was issued despite lacking Warner Music’s signature, a Pandora rep says “we felt we had more than enough good news” and that Warner was fully aware that the release was being issued.

Source: Pandora Announces Licensing Deals — With Everyone But Warner Music | Billboard

Spotify, Apple, Tidal Paying $1.6 Million a DAY In Major Label Guarantees

On-demand streaming services Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Deezer, Rhapsody, and others collectively paid nearly $1.6 million in guaranteed payments a day to just three major recording labels last quarter.  Total ‘minimum guarantees’ topped $144 million over the 91 day period, a figure that likely doesn’t include preferred advertising inventory and other juicy perks.

Benefiting from the guaranteed payments are Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group, a trio now wielding massive power over the fate of companies like Spotify.

Source: Spotify, Apple, Tidal Paying $1.6 Million a DAY In Major Label Guarantees…

This deal will change everything for the music business in Russia

In recent months Russia’s once sin-binned social network, vKontakte, has inked licensing deals with Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, in part to power a new mobile subscription streaming app.

Today, bringing to a close a two-year lawsuit against VK, Universal has announced that it’s done the same. The major has reached a settlement with VK parent Mail.ru and licensed its social media platforms – VK, Odnoklassniki and My World – for future use of video and audio content from UMG artists like Taylor Swift.

Source: This deal will change everything for the music business in Russia – Music Business Worldwide