Despite publicly announcing a deal with Vevo on Sunday at NARM, A2IM has not finalized any such agreement.
On Monday, A2IM chief Rich Bengloff clarified that the organization has been in discussions with Vevo, but a formalized inclusion deal has not been arranged.
Bengloff, who was quoted verbatim, may have over-played the negotiation. “We’re included in this new Vevo project… it was arranged by Cary Sherman of the RIAA,” Bengloff originally stated.
That led to some confusion and requests for clarifications, and Bengloff issued a statement to Digital Music News on Monday to clarify the matter. “Vevo has expressed interest in including independent music labels in their service to provide a full consumer experience and has indicated to A2IM that they plan to offer terms that give independent artists and labels parity.”
But Bengloff indicated that A2IM would not be signing a deal per se, and that top-level terms would be arranged through global counterpart Merlin. “At this point, discussions will be with Merlin, the international rights organization that represents music label right holders from around the world. Hopefully, independent labels will be treated fairly and equitably and included in Vevo as they have been in many other services.”
All of that suggests that independent artist video content will eventually be included in the service, subject to agreeable terms. But other consortia or individual labels could also step forward with deals of their own, part of an open and unpredictable process.