Pandora and Spotify Face Different Issues In Getting Music Rights
Let's revisit this statement in 10 or 20 years: Streaming music services such as Pandora and Spotify are "not radio substitutes any more than your Walkman, CD collection or iPod ever was," Lew Dickey, CEO, president and chairman of Cumulus Media, tells AdWeek. Instead, Dickey believes they are threats to CDs and downloads but not free local radio.
Dickey could be right. Only a time machine would help us know for sure. But I'm guessing people not in the traditional radio business would probably wager his statements prove to be wrong in a decade or two. Pandora is radio-like in many ways. It thinks like a radio company. It calls itself a radio company. And it is very open in its desire to displace traditional radio companies.
Actually, Dickey is probably half-right. The clues can be seen in the different ways copyright law treats webcasting like Pandora (the online parallel to radio) and on-demand services like Spotify (the online parallel to the CD collection or iPod). The Digital Performance Right Act of 1995 grants webcasters a compulsory license for the music they stream. That's a lot like the way a radio station pays for its performances of music. In addition, limitations are placed on how webcasters stream songs. This makes webcasting similar to radio in its level of non-interactivity.
But the DRPA treats on-demand services differently because they have a greater potential to act as a substitute for purchases. So, unlike webcasters, on-demand services don't get a compulsory license. Instead, they must negotiate with rights owners for use of their catalogs. As a result, it's more costly to operate an on-demand service -- because legislators believed there is a greater chance on-demand listening will cannibalize music purchases. Now, there is not yet evidence of cannibalization. But the law clearly shows people were expecting cannibalization back in 1995. ( AdWeek)
Van Halen Pull-Back From Spotify A Mistake, Says Lefsetz
After Coldplay and the Black Keys held back their new releases from Spotify, and given the frequent discontent over its payouts to labels, it's not a surprise that online sirens blare when a new release is found to be unavailable at the service. And so it was no surprise to see the headline, "Van Halen Pulls Their latest Single From Spotify," on a post at Digital Music News Thursday.
The explanation is far less sexy than the headline implies, however: plain ol' human error. It seems Universal accidentally uploaded the new song "Tattoo" to Spotify. Bob Lefsetz explained in an email that iTunes had been given a one-week exclusive. "The track should be back up on Spotify in four days," wrote Lefsetz. "Van Halen had nothing to do with pulling it down." A Spotify spokesperson confirmed to Billboard.biz that a "glitch in the metadata" resulted in a premature upload to Spotify. ( Digital Music News)
Kickstarter-fuelled Projects May Soon Garner Grammys
How long until a Kickstarter project receives a Grammy nomination? If the critical success of films are any indication, it might not be long. GigaOm notes that three Kickstarter projects are on the documentary short list for Academy Awards and "more than a dozen" Kickstarter-financed films have been accepted to the Sundance Film Festival.
It's probably safe to say neither film would have made it this far without the Kickstarter funding platform. The three short-listed projects each needed funding to either reach completion or find a larger audience. " Battle for Brooklyn" received pledges of $25,506 from 373 backers to help finish the movie after taping 300 hours of footage over 6 years. " The Loving Story" used pledges of $15,383 from 186 backers to help pay the licensing fees related to archival footage, photographs and music used in the film. " Incident in New Bagdhad," short-listed in the short documentary category, raised $11,960 from 84 backers to help take the film to a national release.
It might surprise some people that a fan-funded album has already won a Grammy. Maria Schneider's "Concert in the Garden" won a 2005 Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. The album was financed through ArtistShare, a crowdfunding platform founded in 2000 that is used by many jazz and classical artists. Three ArtistShare albums received a total of 6 nominations for next month's Grammy Awards. ( GigaOm)