VEVO: We pay musicians more royalties than anyone else

By Graeme McMillan
as published on Digital Trends. Click HERE for original article
November 29, 2012

While Pandora is getting angry open letters from musicians complaining that they want to share in the company’s wealth, Vevo’s founder has announced that his company is en route to share $100 million in royalties with the music industry this year.

In the ever-shifting landscape of streaming media, one company is positioning itself as being just that little bit more of a friend to musicians than everyone else. Vevo, the music video service part-owned by Sony Music and Universal Music, has revealed that it has paid $200 million in revenue to the music industry since it began in 2009.

The number came from Vevo President and Chief Executive Officer Rio Caraeff during an appearance on Tuesday of this week at the Business Inside: Ignition Conference in New York City, according to a report on Billboard Magazine’s website. Telling the assembled audience that an audience “that loves music should be treated and valued the same way as the audience that loves the Super Bowl, and revenue should flow as such,” Caraeff went on to say that his company is on target to pay more in royalty revenue to the music industry this year alone than it did in the first two years of its existence combined, a figure that that Billboard estimates somewhere in the region of $100 million.

The issue of royalty payments from music streamed online has been one under a lot of discussion recently, with over 100 musicians adding their name to an open letter to Pandora that appeared in a recent print edition of Billboard, protesting that company’s support of the Internet Radio Fairness Act, which would ensure that musicians would receive less royalty money from streaming services as laws would reclassify Internet streaming media to more closely resemble satellite radio services as opposed to traditional broadcast radio. The letter asked Pandora to drop its support of the legislation and stop “asking Congress once again to step in and gut the royalties that thousands of musicians rely upon.”

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