Spotify Signs A Deal With Universal. Only Warner Left To Go Now.

By The Looks Of It, Spotify Might Be Coming To America Sooner Than Expected

Spotify’s much-touted disembark on American shores finally picks up some pace. The company has managed to sign a deal with Universal Music. This means that the one and only company that stands between Spotify and America is the typically-conservative Warner Music Group. By now, Spotify has already managed to nail deals with UMG, EMI and Sony.

The Warner deal itself might not be that hard to sign, actually. All four major labels have recently signed with Apple for its iTunes to the Cloud and iTunes Match services. This is a clear indicator that the majors are opening up to the concept of digital music. I know, I know – the European streaming service and Apple are in entirely different leagues. But that is something of a precedent all the same.

One thing’s for sure: if the Warner deal comes through, it will involve some kind of heavy compromise. Let’s see how Spotify can handle that – remember, it has already angered punters by cutting on the amount of music that can be streamed for free.

Stay tuned for the latest developments. This might as well turn to be one of the hottest stories of the year as far as digital music is concerned.

YouTube Signs A Deal With RightsFlow For The Licensing Of Music

music license

After listening to The Blues To The Bush‘s version of “After The Fire” earlier this evening I felt a tremendous urge to listen to the original recording (found on Roger Daltrey’s “Under A Raging Moon” album – the best he ever recorded). I was sitting in front of the computer, and I thought it would be faster to look the song up on YouTube and play it there than to go fishing for the CD. I remembered I once had watched it there, not that long ago.

Well, I managed to find it pretty quickly again. The video was still there.

But owing to a claim by the original record company, the audio had been taken away. Only the images remained, and the uploader thought it would be preferable to have some music playing along to the clip than leaving it mute. So, he used a song by Creed instead.

Leaving aside all the obvious (and delectably malicious) jokes that spring to mind, this just makes it clear that the way in which the rights of performers are being looked after isn’t really self-assuring.

A few might say that such a thing can’t be helped when we are talking about something as huge as YouTube – a portal with one of the largest databases of user-generated content ever. But that doesn’t alleviate the fears of performers one whit.

So, a deal like the one YouTube has just announced will be greeted more than enthusiastically. YouTube has just signed up with RightsFlow, a licensing and royalty service provider for artists, record labels, distributors and online music companies. Continue reading

Is Spotify Coming To The US?

At Long Last, Spotify Is Coming To The US

At Long Last, Spotify Is Coming To The US

Well, one would say it is after reading the story that was run recently on the New York Post. For those of you who can’t be arsed to click on the link: two different music industry sources have confirmed that Sony Music and another (undisclosed) label are about to sign up a deal with the European startup.

In case you are wondering why a service that is so wildly popular in the old world is yet to come to America, the main stumbling block is that records labels aren’t exactly enamored with the freemium model that it champions (they hate its guts, actually). Think about it: Spotify lets people have access to as much music as they want legally, as long as they put up with the ads which are displayed. And these ads can be obliterated if you pay a fee. Continue reading