Is Turntable.fm looking to court the majors?
By CMU Editorial | Published on Wednesday 14 September 2011
AllThingsD has noted that US-based interactive-social-sharing-music-whatnot start-up Turntable.fm has published some information about the investors who have contributed to the $7 million in new funding the company has recently secured. In amongst Lady Gaga’s manager Troy Carter, media investor Vivi Nevo and VCs like Union Square are a couple of unnamed leading music industry execs, who seemingly have made small investments and will offer advice.
The tech website says that its sources have suggested that those music industry execs work for the big labels, and they therefore wonder if this means Turntable.fm is now approaching the majors about them licensing its service. This is interesting because Turntable.fm has previously indicated that it believed its website would qualify for a more cost effective blanket statutory licence via digital rights agency SoundExchange (indicated to the extent, in fact, that we previously inferred and incorrectly reported that the website had such a licence in place).
Others doubted whether such a blanket licence – which is what Pandora operates under – would apply to Turntable.fm (ultimately it’s the US Copyright Royalty Board which sets the criteria), and AllThingsD seems to think that bosses at the digital company may have now reached the same conclusion and is therefore now courting the majors about doing more conventional licensing deals.
The digital news site notes that there does seem to be quite a lot of support for Turntable.fm in the US music industry, and that since Spotify managed to license its freemium offer (albeit the newer streamlined version) it’s assumed that labels may consider licensing more interactive free-to-use services, though everyone seems to agree scoring those licensing deals won’t be cheap.
Read AllThingsD’s original piece in full here.