Music Podcasting Legitimised With World's First Multilabel Licence
AIM's new media arm AIM Digital will on Monday launch a global trial licence for podcasting, enabling UK independent repertoire to be used in podcasts around the world.
The six month licence will provide a means for broadcasters of every stripe, whether traditional or bedroom-based, to legally podcast a variety of UK independent repertoire. It will enable UK independent labels to make their repertoire available for international podcasting.
There are currently between 25,000 and 50,000 podcasts available online, and podcasters range from bloggers to the largest radio and television broadcasters in the UK, including The BBC, Virgin Radio and XFM. Very few have so far been able to secure licences for the use of any copyrighted music, meaning that most stations, including the BBC, have either been reduced to using unsigned and copyright-free music or have had to remove all music used in their regular shows.
The AIM licence will help revolutionize the podcast landscape by allowing podcasters from around the world to feature a wide array of copyrighted music for the first time. The agreement will facilitate the development of a legal market, enabling all concerned to gather usage data and gauge advertising potential towards establishing a long-term business model.
A range of licences are available to suit every type of podcaster, from conventional broadcasters to one-man shows, and will enable podcasters to use as many of the available tracks they want, subject to certain useage restrictions (see below). Independent labels can choose how much or how little repertoire to offer, from a single track to their entire catalogue.
Independent label adoption of the new licence is expected to be widespread, and the full list of repertoire on offer will be made available on the AIM website (www.musicindie.com) as labels sign up.
Alison Wenham, AIM's chairman and chief executive, commented, "Music from AIM's member labels will now be available to podcasters without the fear of operating illegally. In the absence of an industry wide scheme, AIM has moved to fill the current void, and has created attractive licensing conditions for the use of music from the independent sector of the UK. We believe there will be huge global demand for the AIM podcast licence."
Commented AIM board member Martin Goldschmidt, MD of Cooking Vinyl, whose artists include Richard Thompson, Buzzcocks, and Billy Bragg, "I see podcasting and subscription services as playing a big role in where the music consumer wants to go. It's great to see the independent community embracing and supporting this, as opposed to the Sony/BMG 'own goal' approach."
Simon Wheeler, director of digital at Beggars Group, and chairman of AIM's new media committee, said, "Podcasting has seen explosive growth over the last few months and, with no industry standard licences in place, AIM has once again stepped up to the plate to ensure that UK independent music can access this channel on a licensed basis. It is vital that we embrace new channels of distribution, and this is another important step forward by the most creative sector of the UK music industry."
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