SONGS Music Publishing , the sixth biggest publishing company in the US, has struck a direct licensing deal with Pandora.
Pandora describes the multi-year, direct-licensing agreement as ‘creating business benefits.’ Such benefits are likely to give Pandora the ability to launch an more interactive streaming service in 2016, due to recently bought Rdio assets. The news comes a month after the world’s largest publisher Sony/ATV announced a direct deal with Pandora, and represents a broader initiative to sidestep complicated government royalty rates with direct deals.
Direct-licensing is tricky stuff, and controversial. But SONGS sees benefits. “Now is the time to move past the over-regulation of songwriter rights and towards a market-based approach to streaming music,” said Matt Pincus, SONGS founder and CEO. “I value Pandora‘s commitment to treating all songwriters and publishers equally and look forward to a new chapter with them.”
Brian McAndrews, chief executive officer of Pandora, added, “This agreement with SONGS underscores that commitment and demonstrates our shared belief that all publishers and songwriters should receive equal treatment. Pandora is a leader in the space and we continue to improve value to music publishers and songwriters – a positive step for the entire industry.”
The public performance royalties Pandora also pays to rights holders of master recordings are not affected by this agreement.