Pandora Comes to Terms with Indie Publishing Group

Pandora eased its contentious relationship with music copyright holders on Tuesday by signing a multi-year licensing agreement with SONGS Music Publishing. The agreement comes on the heels of a similar deal landed by the Internet radio provider about a month ago, with Sony / ATV Music. Music publishers around the world have had a problem with Internet radio, especially Pandora, since the service launched more than a decade ago. At issue has always been the discrepancy between what Pandora pays for performance versus what it shells out for publishing. Since its inception, Pandora has paid roughly 12 times as much for performance royalties than it has doled out to songwriters and other rights holders. The company has struggled to improve its relationship with publishing groups like SONGS until recently.

“Now is the time to move past the over-regulation of songwriter rights and towards a market-based approach to streaming music,” read a statement from SONGS founder and CEO Matt Pincus. “This agreement is a big step forward in a long conversation about fair and equitable compensation for all songwriters and publishers. I value Pandora’s commitment to treating all songwriters and publishers equally and look forward to a new chapter with them.” SONGS represents the largest share of independent music publishers, with a roster that includes Grammy nominees The Weeknd, Lorde, Diplo, Nelly and DJ Mustard.