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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Online Music Service Signed Contract With 4 Record Labels

During the SXSW festival, an online music service Turntable.fm has made an important announcement through its co-founders Billy Chasen and Seth Goldstein. They confirmed that the service has signed licensing deals with 4 major record labels during a panel titled “Turntable.FM: The Future Of Music Is Social”.

If you want to become a DJ, this online service may be the right place to start, because it offers an opportunity to many users to mix up for over 200 listeners in various virtual rooms, each of them having its own musical theme. In addition, DJs are able to either choose from a catalog offered by MediaNet, or upload their own music, whether it is something they have recorded or a bespoke remix.

Apparently, because of the nature of such services, the licensing process in a whole was very complicated. Prior to having any licenses signed, Turntable.fm obtained $7.5 million in funding from Union Square Ventures, along with a positive feedback from the media and the public. Nevertheless, signing with the record labels was an obligatory part for a music service that wanted to survive the today’s rough and unpredictable cyberspace.

The founders of the company admitted that they went into it without being worried about licensing. For example, Seth Goldstein did not, and still does not know what the DMCA stands for. He also had no idea about the restrictions, pro-copyright outfits, the per-play rates, international licensing differences, and the publishers. In reality, it became a huge challenge to navigate through many partnerships and label negotiations for him.

Being helped by digital music lawyer Debbie Newman, Turntable.fm turned into a legitimate and most likely profitable business, which has already launched a mobile app for iPhone and iPad to let the users listen to their favourite DJs on the go.

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