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Pandora’s quest to strike direct licensing deals with the world’s most significant rights-holders is going very smoothly.

Warner/Chappell Music has announced a multi-year licensing agreement for its catalogue of musical works in the US market.

Like similar recent deals with Sony/ATV and SONGS Music Publishing, Pandora said that the agreement would ‘modernise compensation’ for Warner/Chappell Music and its songwriters.

Translation: Warner/Chappell has got itself a better royalty deal than ASCAP/BMI could have legally struck on its behalf.

In return, it will have had to give up more flexibility on its rights – very likely including a license for Pandora to launch an interactive streaming service using assets it acquired from Rdio in November.

The move means that Pandora now has direct licensing deals in place with all three major publishers.

It signed a direct deal with UMPG back in 2013, but whether it included a license for an on-demand streaming service is unclear. (The UMPG deal also only covered the BMI part of the publisher’s catalogue.)



Pandora agreed a direct multi-rights deal with the world’s fourth biggest music publisher, BMG, in September last year.

“It is Warner/Chappell’s top priority to make sure our songwriters are prospering both creatively and commercially, and that the value of their music is properly recognized,” said Jon Platt, CEO, Warner/Chappell Music.

“We look forward to seeing our songwriters benefit from this new agreement with Pandora.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Warner/Chappell Music, which has represented many of the most talented songwriters for over 200 years,” said Brian McAndrews, Pandora’s chief executive officer.

“Pandora is proud to be part of their tradition of maximizing the value of music publishing and talent.”

A release from Pandora said that the deal would ‘allow Warner/Chappell Music to obtain its goal of delivering 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 offering over time.’

Wall Street reacted well to the Warner/Chappell news.

Pandora’s share price bounced 4.9% yesterday, a useful jump ahead of the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision on webcasting rates today – which could either devastate or greatly boost the market cap value of the company.

Warner/Chappell currently publishes and administers music from Barry Gibb, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Eric Clapton, fun., Gamble & Huff, Green Day, Jay Z, Katy Perry, Kendrick Lamar, Led Zeppelin, Lionsgate Films, Madonna, Miramax Films, Muse, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M, Roc Nation, Stephen Sondheim, Timbaland and Tove Lo.

[Music Business Worldwide]