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Warner Music says it will stop licensing songs to free music streaming sites

Sections: Audio, Online Music/Video, Web

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Warner Music Group, one of the world’s largest music conglomerates, has said it will stop licensing songs to free music streaming services. Warner executive Edgar Bronfman, Jr. made the following statement to BBC News:

“Free streaming services are clearly not net positive for the industry and as far as Warner Music is concerned will not be licensed. The ‘get all your music you want for free, and then maybe with a few bells and whistles we can move you to a premium price’ strategy is not the kind of approach to business that we will be supporting in the future.”

Bronfman’s words are probably stinging to fans of music-streaming sites like Pandora, Slacker Radio, and Spotify. Most sites have a “freemium” model of displaying ads and limiting the amount of times a user can skip a song. A premium account will remove ads and provide unlimited skips for a fee, but that doesn’t yield enough money to please Warner.

It’s unclear if Bronfman means Warner will not license to any new services or will not renew licenses when existing deals expire. The absence of Warner titles would remove a sizable portion of songs from streaming services. WMG is the parent company of dozens of labels home to artists ranging from indie rap stars Atmosphere to Grammy-winning rock group Green Day. When factoring in the long list of albums – both current and past – that Warner Music has the rights to, thousands of songs could disappear from streaming sites once current licensing deals end. Either way, Warner’s music being yanked from sites like Pandora, Slacker, Last.fm, GrooveShark, Spotify, and so on could be devastating to music streaming services.

Read [BBC News] Via

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