MediaNet, the back-end of such digital services like Mog/Beats and Songza, is expanding its offerings by providing mechanical rights licensing and administration.

MediaNet currently relies on the Harry Fox Agency (HFA) to supply publishing licenses for the master rights it provides to services. But now the company is adding research staff so it can conduct direct licensing with publishers not affiliated with HFA. It also plans to offer those services to digital music service providers that do not use MediaNet as their back-end.

"We have already built an $80 million infrastructure, which can do much of what is required to track publisher information," MediaNet executive VP/GM Larry Miller says.

That's because MediaNet was launched in 2001 as one of the first online services in the digital music space.

"Now, by offering both master-side and publishing rights administration services, we can remove cost and friction for any company that wants to offer digital music services, allowing them to focus on creating, releasing and scaling brilliant products and services rather than allocating in-house resources to copyright administration," Miller continues.

MediaNet is jumping into a space that already has such well-entrenched players like Music Reports and HFA's Slingshot operation, even if a void opened up when Google acquired RightsFlow. But beyond the entrenched players, such performance rights organization's like SESAC and BMI reportedly are eying the mechanical-rights administration business as well, so that promises to be a competitive space in the next few years.