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Music Publishing News Roundup: Friday, July 22, 2016

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Apple has proposed a streaming royalty rate with the Copyright Royalty Board as part of a preceding to set statutory rates for downloads and interactive streaming services.  The proposed rate, intended to simplify the way on-demand streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify pay songwriters and publishers, is 9.1 cents for every 100 streams of a song.  The New York Times speculates that the proposal was meant to target its competitor, Spotify, as it would significantly raise the rates the service currently pays, and its “freemium” model.

SOCAN, the organization representing the Canadian performing rights of more than 4 million songwriters and publishers, has purchased Audiam.  The acquisition, coming on the heels of SOCAN’s purchase of MediaNet, gives SOCAN a comprehensive database and metadata of all musical works and commercially released sound recordings, and the technology to connect the two, issue licenses, and properly pay rights-holders.  The acquisitions also means that SOCAN has expanded into the collection of mechanical licensing and royalty distribution in the US and Canada.

Russia’s largest social network, VKontakte, is preparing to launch a paid subscription music service in the next six months.  The social network has made licensing agreements with all three major labels, just two years after the three labels filed a joint lawsuit against the network for copyright infringement.  The network, which has more than 88 million registered users in Russia and 148 million worldwide, will offer its users the ability to listen to audio recordings for free, but plans to add premium functions only for paid subscribers.

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