New websites and mobile apps that give people new ways to listen to music are popping up daily. Every so often, one of them explodes out of the gate with exponential user growth. The summer of 2011 has seen the launch of Turntable.fm, a site with such a buzz that it already has hundreds of thousands of users, while still in invite-only beta mode (to gain access, you need a Facebook friend that is already using the site).
The concept of Turntable.fm is simple: you join a virtual crowd in a themed room, and either listen to music selected by the room’s “DJs” or become one yourself. The crowd can vote each song selection as “Awesome“ or “Lame.” When a member of the crowd “Awesomes” a selection, their avatar’s head starts to bob. Anyone can create a room, and anyone can DJ if one of the five DJ spots is available. DJs earn points, and people in the room can chat with one another. In a nutshell, it’s part new music discovery tool, part online hangout/chatroom, part game and, according to many users, completely addictive.
Though still in its infancy, Turntable.fm has already offered artists and labels a dynamic new way to interact with fans and promote their music. Some artists, like Diplo have even DJed on Turntable.fm as a way to test out new material with a “room” full of fans prior to releasing it - just like in a real music venue.
Paying Songwriters, Respecting Copyrights, and…Following the Law!
We are pleased to announce that Turntable.fm is licensed by ASCAP. It’s great to see a tech start-up securing an ASCAP license from the outset, ensuring that songwriters, composers and publishers will be paid fairly if the site succeeds. Every song begins with the songwriter, and those songwriters must be able to make a living in the internet age. It will be interesting to follow the progress of Turntable.fm as it gains mainstream awareness and maybe, just maybe, goes shoulder-to-shoulder with the big music services like Pandora and Spotify (which, is also licensed by ASCAP).
With the explosion of online and mobile music, the ASCAP blanket license provides an easy and efficient means for new music services to respect copyrights and compensate the songwriters and composers whose music draws their customers. (FYI - depending on a site’s business model, mechanical, master recording and/or sync licenses may be needed as well) It is extremely easy to get an ASCAP license to stream music. Here’s how:
How to License a Website or App (Hint: It’s Easy and Economical)
If your website or app streams music, it is publicly performing that music, and therefore needs authorization from the copyright owners, or a designated licensing representative, like ASCAP. An ASCAP license authorizes the public performance of any of the millions of musical works in the ASCAP repertory by a licensed site or service. And luckily, an ASCAP license is both economical and easy to obtain. Here’s how to get started:
- “Interactive” means that the performances specific songs or musical works are selected by users, such as on-demand songs or music videos, and user-selected song playlists.
- “Non-Interactive” means that specific songs or musical works are not selected by users. This would include webcasts, streaming background music and music previews or samples (i.e. excerpts that are 60 seconds or less in duration).
2. Once you’ve chosen a license agreement, select a Rate Schedule that best suits your site or service. To see your potential fee under different Rate Schedule scenarios, simply use the ASCAP RateCalc. The initial rate schedule you decide on will become your “Initial License Fee Report.” This is based on good faith estimates of your metrics during your site’s first year of operation.
3. Submit a completed license agreement (with Initial License Fee Report included) to ASCAP.
- blackplateco posted this