Music publishers seek to obtain revenue from 30 second song previews on iTunes

Thu, Sep 17, 2009


CNET reports on the latest efforts of songwriters and music publishers to get additional revenue streams from downloaded movies and TV shows, as well as from 30 second song previews on iTunes.

ASCAP and BMI have their sights set on collecting fees from three main areas: downloads of music; downloads of films and TV shows, and 30-second song samples.

In case you don’t know the lingo of music licensing, here are some important definitions. When music is performed in public, say at radio stations, restaurants, or sports stadiums, groups such as ASCAP and BMI collect fees and pass them on to composers and songwriters. This is different than a “mechanical” licensing fee, which is paid for the right to record or distribute a song (ASCAP and BMI don’t collect mechanical fees).

“In the U.S. while we do get paid a mechanical (licensing fee) from ITunes, we are not getting any performance income from Apple yet,” David Renzer, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, said in interview late last month with entertainment-industry publication, Encore. “(On iTunes) you can stream radio, and you can preview (tracks), things that we should be getting paid performance income for.

“Also, if you download a film or TV show,” Renzer continued, “there’s no performance (payment) and typically there’s no mechanical (payment) either.”

There’s a whole lot more in the full article over here.  It’s definitely worth checking out if you have any curiosity at all about the complex and murky world of music licensing and royalty payments.

One parting thought – it’s hard to take these clowns seriously when they make a serious faced effort to lobby for royalties on 30 second song previews.  Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.



1 Comments For This Post

  1. Richard Says:

    They really expect us to purchase something that we have not yet heard?? This is as stupid as the health care bill being passed without being read! C’mon, really? What is next; looking at the album cover will cost fees due to art licensing?

    Are people really that stupid, or do they think we are?

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