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The Sopranos

Will SoundCloud pay rent to labels as the price for existing?

I apologize for what some might experience as the presumptuous headline query, but I am unable to interpret the latest SoundCloud news otherwise. Here is the lead paragraph in last week’s Bloomberg report:

“The largest record labels are closing in on a deal for a stake in buzzy digital-music service SoundCloud Ltd., in exchange for an agreement not to sue the startup for copyright violations, according to people with knowledge of the plans.”

SoundCloud has a copyright violation notification system in place, but apparently this is not enough. According to the story, ongoing negotiations could lead to Universal, Sony, and Warner receiving a “3 to 5 percent stake” apiece in SoundCloud, plus additional revenues in some future context. These contributions will presumably protect the entity from being beaten to death by copyright lawyers. The Berlin based company is pretty much an all-uploads-all-the-time kind of site. This hasn’t sat well with the labels, whose advocates complain that “their [catalog] is all over SoundCloud, and it’s essentially too hard to police . . . ”

The rigors of police-work aside, it should be noted that some of these media entities have invested in SoundCloud’s competitors. Warner owns a bit of Spotify. Universal reportedly has a large stake in Vevo. Warner and Universal owned pieces of Beats Electronics before Apple purchased the entity some months ago. Call me cynical, but I think this is part of the bigger picture.

Meanwhile, Canadians are hysterical with joy at the news that Spotify will be gradually rolling out music to that country, and they will no longer have to listen to the service via doofy VPN/proxy sites.

Think I’m kidding about the ‘hysterical’ bit? Here are some tweets:


Finally, in MySpace-Still-Exists-News, Reason magazine has polled around 2,000 or so millennials (18 to 29) about various matters. Question 62 caught my eye:

Which, if any, of the following social networking accounts do you currently use?

Yes No
Facebook 75% 25%
YouTube 57% 43%
Twitter 36% 64%
Google + 29% 71%
Instagram 28% 72%
Pinterest 22% 78%
LinkedIn 17% 83%
Snapchat 15% 85%
Tumblr 13% 87%
Vine 10% 90%
MySpace 8% 92%
Reddit 6% 94%

Looky there: MySpace is in the top te-, er, eleven. Hope springs eternal (if you are MySpace).

We cover social music sharing communities  every Monday in our Internet DJ feature.

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