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Pandora, ASCAP, BMI Are Happy Together


This is a pretty big deal here due to the confrontational relationships Pandora has had with the world's leading Performance Rights Organizations, especially BMI. And as a result of this deal, Pandora is dropping its appeal of the recent BMI rate court decision. ASCAP and BMI have a combined catalogue of over 20 million musical works. Before this new deal, Pandora paid BMI members 2.5 percent of its revenue and ASCAP members 1.75 percent. Terms of the deal, how much songwriters will be paid each time their song is played, were not revealed.

The Department of Justice is reviewing the consent decrees that detrmine how ASCAP and BMI operate. Some major music publishers were considering withdrawing some of their licensing rights from ASCAP and BMI so they could negotiate directly with Pandora, hoping for better rates of course. A judge however, ruled it had to be all or nothing. Publishers must either withdraw all of their rights or keep them all with ASCAP or BMI.

ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews said, "This agreement is good news for music fans and music creators, who are the heart and soul of ASCAP, and a sign of progress in our ongoing push for improved streaming payments for songwriters, composers and music publishers that reflect the immense value of our members' creative contributions."

"We're extremely pleased to reach this deal with Pandora that benefits the songwriters, composers and publishers we are privileged to represent," said Mike O'Neill, President and CEO, BMI. "Not only is our new agreement comparable to the other direct deals in the marketplace, but it also allows us to amicably conclude our lengthy rate court litigation and focus on what drives each of our businesses - the music."

"At Pandora we are delivering on our commitment to ensure that music thrives," said Brian McAndrews, chief executive officer of Pandora. "These collaborative efforts with the leading Performance Rights Organizations, as well as our recent direct deals with several music publishers demonstrate our progress in working together to grow the music ecosystem."

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