Warner Music work with Mixcloud to monetise online indie radio

British radio streamers Mixcloud have signed a massive deal with Warner that will license Warner Music Group music for use on their radio shows.

Mixcloud and Warner Music Group have signed a deal that enters the two companies into a licensing agreement for music and royalties. This will legally allow to Mixcloud to not just air Warner Music but at last monetise their digital radio shows.

Mixcloud is used to share and listen to radio shows online which feature everything from podcast-style shows, DJ sets, and of course your typical presenter + music radio show. Notable artists and entities involved with Mixcloud include Tiesto, Moby, Erykah Badu, David Byrne, and the Guardian.

With licensing comes money and as such a few things are going to have to shift around in Mixcloud. They are clearly trying not to let it get too in the way of their model as it runs now, offering each creator the option of charging for their shows/podcasts/sets individually for their own decided amount.

Seeing as they weren’t allowed to charge for their service before it’s a sensible step that still leaves the users with power and doesn’t suddenly paywall the service. This allows creators and listeners to adjust to the new model, whereas introducing a flat subscription rate would have likely drawn many users away.

Despite having only just signed a licensing agreement with their first major label, Mixcloud already lay claim to their own Content ID system. Content ID systems allow services to recognise music, samples, voices and so on from their own catalogue of music. With the ability to detect copyrighted audio like that services can take action against the use of it or, as in Mixcloud’s case, identify rights-holders and pay the appropriate people for the music.

Mixcloud are reportedly looking to sign deals with the other major labels Universal and Sony. Their business approach so far has been focusing on building the service rather than it’s userbase, whilst still reaching an impressive 17 million listeners a month. This appears to have been working in appealing to labels.

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