Pandora has cut a multi-year direct publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music, making it the final of the three major music publishers to sign a direct deal with the web radio giant.
The deal allows Warner/Chappell Music to deliver improved performance royalties for its songwriters, while Pandora will benefit from greater rate certainty and the ability to add new flexibility to the company's product over time, according to the announcement. Those are expected to include greater customization features -- say more skips per song by the listener, and more pauses, than currently allowed. Beyond that, Pandora’s expansion beyond the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand markets were most likely a major factor during negotiations.
Terms of the deal were not revealed. Some industry sources suggest that the agreements, both between Warner/Chappell Music and another recently announced with Sony/ATV, will see Pandora paying each publisher their pro-rata share ranging between 10 percent of revenue, the amount that iTunes Radio agreed to pay music publishers; and the 8.5 percent of revenue, the same amount Pandora agreed to pay with Universal Music Publishing Group during the BMI rate trial. The UMPG direct deal is just for BMI songs; Pandora still needs to get licensed with UMPG for ASCAP, as that PRO's blanket license expires at the end of this year.