SoundCloud has some big issues right now – not least that it’s being sued by PRS For Music for failing to obtain a European license from the UK-based collection society.
Partly as a result of PRS’s action, it appears that Universal Music Group’s own groundbreaking licensing deal with the digital service is now frozen at the final stage of negotiations.
Clearly, SoundCloud needs to nurture some friendships with players in the EU music business – and fast.
Now, MBW understands, it’s found the right person for that job.
We’re being told by multiple sources that respected digital entertainment veteran Raoul Chatterjee is about to take a gig as European industry relations boss at SoundCloud, based in London.
The timing of Chatterjee’s appointment is very interesting: well-placed sources are suggesting to MBW that SoundCloud is working hard towards a settlement with PRS, which could even come this side of Christmas.
Since 2012, Chatterjee (pictured, inset) has been SVP Music at 7digital Group plc in London, whose clients include HMV, Guvera and the BBC.
The exec’s expertise with music rights and digital services go much further back, however.
“IF SOUNDCLOUD’S MISSION IS TO FORM CLOSER LINKS WITH MUSIC RIGHTSHOLDERS, I CAN’T THINK OF MANY BETTER THAN RAOUL FOR THE JOB.”
UK MUSIC INDUSTRY INSIDER
For two years from 2010, Chatterjee ran the commercial division of Warner Music UK, where he was responsible for all commercial relationships with retailers and digital services and enjoyed a run of success with multi-million selling albums from artists such as Ed Sheeran, Paolo Nutini, Plan B and Michael Bublé.
Prior to this, he was Director Of Commercial Innovation at the Major, where his development of WMG’s partnership with Spotify led to significant new revenues for his employer.
“If SoundCloud’s mission is to form closer links with music rightsholders and develop a mutually beneficial business strategy, I can’t think of many people better than Raoul for the job,” one UK music biz insider told MBW.
Chatterjee first joined Warner Music in 1994.
As Business Development Manager, he was responsible for developing the first partnerships with innovative online CD retailers and pioneered Warner’s early digital business development strategy.
In 2002 he moved to Ministry of Sound to become Sales Director, dealing directly with all major retail accounts and delivering million-selling Number 1 singles such as Call On Meby Eric Prydz and numerous chart-topping compilation albums generating sales of over 18 million.
He was responsible for developing Ministry’s still-thriving downloads business, firstly with key partners such as iTunes and then with MoS’s own digital channels including websites, mobile apps and online radio and TV.
Chatterjee’s career in music retailing began at specialist indie vinyl store Fat Cat Records in Covent Garden, London and later at Virgin Retail’s flagship Oxford Street store.
Last year, Chatterjee was named Chairman of the UK’s Entertainment Retailers Association.
A post he carries out alongside his 7Digital work, ERA’s membership includes Amazon, Google, Tesco, HMV, Spotify, Netflix, Rough Trade and Steam.[Music Business Worldwide]