The Rate Court judges ruled that Pandora will pay ASCAP 1.85% of annual revenue. Music Rights stakeholders including Sony/ATV CEO Martin Bandier and ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento have commented on the verdict, calling it a major defeat for songwriters and publishers. The rate remains the same rate that has been effective since 2011, however the Judge Cote ruling did not allow for the rate to decrease to terrestrial level rate of 1.7%. Later in the week, Pandora announced that it will raise its monthly fee from $3.99 to $4.99 and get rid of the annual fee of $36 altogether due to the increase in licensing cost.
Downtown Music Publishing announced the opening of a new London Office. After successfully opening a new office in LA last summer and Nashville earlier this year, the rising music publishing company is expanding overseas. Appointed as their London A&R Manager is Tom Graham who has helped develop the songwriting careers for artists such as Ellie Goulding, Kid Harpoon, and The Kooks. Downtown also announced the signing of 311 to their first worldwide Publishing Administration deal this week. The Multi-Platinum selling band released their latest album “Stereolithic” on March 11th of this year.
SONGS Music Publishing has signed a deal for the exploitation rights to George Gershwin’s catalog from the Godowsky family and Heyward Memorial Fund. The deal includes compositions from Broadway productions such as Porgy and Bess, Shall We Dance, A Damsel In Distress and The Goldwyn Follies. Along with classical songs like “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It” and “Summertime.” SONGS plans on starting a marketing campaign for Gershwin’s catalog focused on placing his songs in television, film and advertisements.