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Music Publishing News Weekly Roundup: September 19th, 2014

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Pandora has signed a music rights deal with BMG as of September 11th, 2014. In an effort to secure a more favorable deal for the songwriters and copyright holders, the 4th largest publisher executed a direct deal with the most popular streaming service. In doing so, they bypassed the US Performing Rights Organizations BMI and ASCAP, who traditionally handle all licenses for digital performance royalties. These organizations are bound by government regulations and aged consent decrees. This deal follows Pandora’s recent deal with Merlin, which allowed Pandora was able to negotiate direct deals with thousands of independent labels.

Clear Channel has moved to digital, re branding themselves as iHeartMedia, taking their name from their digital counterpart iHeartRadio. With 859 radio stations and over 245 Million monthly listeners US, the 40 year old media and entertainment company will attempt to move further alongside streaming giants like Pandora and Spotify. iHeartMedia companies including iHeartRadio, Premier Networks, Total Traffic, and Weather Network will remain the same name.

Spirit Music Group has gained $50 million in new funding from fund manager Fortress Investment Group LLC. The independent publishing company that represents writers such as Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, and Mariah Carey plans to use the new capital to expand their roster of iconic catalogs as well as increase their international presence. With this investment in place, the publishing company will have raised over $100 million in funding since 2012.

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