Pandora Drops Rate Court Appeal, Signs with ASCAP, BMI

PandoraASCAPBMIPandora has signed separate, multi-year licensing agreements with ASCAP and BMI, which together control a combined performance catalog of more than 20 million musical works.

Pandora has been on a signing spree the past few months directly with music publishers, however these deals additionally benefit ASCAP and BMI songwriters immediately, who receive royalty collections straight from their PRO.

In connection with the signing of the BMI agreement, Pandora has agreed to withdraw its appeal of the May 2015 order in the recent BMI rate case.

“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,” said ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews.

“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.”

While the specific terms of both multi-year agreements are confidential, for each deal, the respective parties worked together to build an innovative approach to public performance licensing. The deals allow both ASCAP and BMI to further their goal of delivering improved performance royalties for their songwriters and publishers, while Pandora will benefit from greater rate certainty and the ability to add new flexibility to the company’s product offering over time.

The public performance royalties Pandora also pays to rights holders of master recordings are not affected by this agreement, such as those recently ruled upon by the Copyright Royalty Board.

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