Last month, Mixcloud announced a direct licensing deal with Warner Music, one of the big three recording companies worldwide and the third largest in the global music industry.
Until now, Mixcloud relied on blanket licences from collecting societies such as UK based PRS and PPL, and more interntational entities like SoundExchange, ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. It has been able to operate under such licences having offered access to mixes and radio shows, as opposed to tracks on-demand.
PPL essentially grants licenses to radio broadcasters and other users (such as TV channels) to play recorded music as part of their programming. Most, if not all, music played in public by businesses and organisations requires a PPL licence, hence why Mixcloud relied on this licence .
PRS operates in a similar way to PPL but with a special focus on royalties, copyright and licensing. Without PRS, businesses would have to contact thousands of songwriters, composers and music publishers directly to obtain permission to use their music.
The licence deal with Warner Music would enable Mixcloud users to stream and listen to music without infringing Warner Music’s rights. In turn Warner Music is given a new platform to push its artists’ music, and provides another outlet in which to capitalise on royalties.
Mixcloud previously launched ‘Pro’ and ‘Premium’ subscription tiers in 2014, although neither offered users the chance to download mixes or access music offline. Mixcloud intends to remedy this with its latest subscription service, allowing users to subscribe to individual creator channels. This approach will help audio creators on the platform to monetise their content by developing a new marketplace for audio subscriptions.
The specific details on the subscription offering are as of yet undisclosed, as Mixcloud continues its licensing negotiations with Universal Music and Sony Music.