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Warner Music Group Announces Licensing Deal With Mixcloud

Warner Music Group Logo
Courtesy of Warner Music Group

Warner Music Group and digital audio streaming platform Mixcloud today announced a direct licensing agreement. The deal is the platform’s first with a major label group.

Popular with DJs, Mixcloud offers a collection of serialized, long-form and exclusive audio content (over 12 million radio shows, DJ sets and podcasts, according to a release) produced by DJs such as Carl Cox and Tiesto, Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and others. The platform’s proprietary Content ID system is capable of identifying individual tracks within long-form user generated audio, tracks usage data, and currently pays out royalties to local collecting societies such as SoundExchange and the performing rights societies in the U.S.

The news was first reported by Financial Times on Sunday and officially announced by Warner this morning.

The Warner deal will allow the platform, which had previously used statutory radio licenses to cover its music use, a more direct and hands-on relationship with creators. It is said to be negotiating with Universal and Sony, the other two major-label groups. Warner executed new deals with Apple Music, Spotify and, less enthusiastically, YouTube earlier this year.

Mixcloud co-founder Nico Perez told FT, “We don’t want to do the $9.99 a month. That’s done. That market is served. What we’re building is going to be very customised.”

“We are excited to partner with Warner Music Group,” Perez said in a statement. “Since the beginning, we have worked with rightsholders to both monetize long-form audio and champion the importance of curation in the streaming industry. As we embark on direct licensing relationships with the major labels, we are committed to doing what is best for artists, curators, music fans, and the industry.”

“This deal is a good example of our willingness to experiment and lead in embracing differentiated new business models,” said Ole Obermann, EVP, Business Development & Chief Digital Officer, Warner Music Group. “As streaming opens up access to a vast universe of music, we are seeing a complimentary rise in fans’ engagement with curated experiences, such as playlists, on-demand radio shows, and DJ sets.  Mixcloud’s success is driven by the curiosity and passion of its community, as they engage with new music and rediscover timeless older songs.”