Innovation Asset Blog

Pandora licensing victory keeps music catalog available

For online music streaming service Pandora, the breadth of its song catalog is a key determinant of the value it represents to customers. Following a recent district court judgment, the company should now be assured full access to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) catalog through 2015.

In recent years, several music publishers have attempted to negotiate directly with Pandora in hopes of securing more favorable royalty rates. According to CNET, several envious ASCAP members have since attempted to employ a similar approach following news of more fruitful negotiations. However, Pandora's contract with ASCAP specifically affords it access to all member songs at a uniform rate.

In a summary judgment handed down this week, New York District Court Justice Denise Cote affirmed Pandora's right to stream ASCAP titles "unrestricted." It remains to be seen though, whether this decision has simply postponed a larger discussion until Pandora's current contract with ASCAP expires in 2015.

"The court's decision to grant summary judgment on this matter has no impact on our fundamental position in this case that songwriters deserve fair pay for their work, an issue that the court has not yet decided," ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento told The New York Times.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.