Mixcloud Signs Long-Term Licensing Deal with Merlin

To ensure fair royalties – and avoid costly lawsuits – Mixcloud keeps unveiling new direct licensing deals.

Mixcloud has had a pretty good 2018.

Last March, the British indie long-form streaming service secured $11.5 million to expand its business around the world.  WndrCo, a media and technology holding company, led the funding round.

Last month, Mixcloud signed a multi-year direct licensing agreement with Universal Music Group (UMG).  The British streaming service had around 1.25 million curators uploading works on the platform.  It also boasted over 15 million shows, DJ sets, and podcasts.  Mixcloud has an existing licensing agreement with Warner Music Group.

Under the deal, UMG artists will receive compensation for works streamed on Mixcloud.  The move likely spared the British streaming service from a costly lawsuit.

UMG and other record labels recently filed a lawsuit against iBusMedia, which owns the popular PokerNews podcast.  PokerNews has used a significant number of works over the years without receiving a proper license from UMG and the other labels.  iBusMedia could end up paying nearly $7 million in damages alone.  UMG may soon add more works to the damning copyright infringement lawsuit.  Mixcloud’s long-term licensing deal includes a stipulation the service would pay UMG for works streamed in the past.

Now, the British streaming service has announced another major licensing deal.

Partnering with the indie crowd.

Mixcloud has signed a multi-year direct licensing agreement with the Merlin Network.

Under the deal, the global music rights agency will receive royalties when indie labels and their recording artists’ works are streamed on Mixcloud.  The British streaming service’s Content ID system identifies music in radio shows and mixes.  This allows Mixcloud to pay royalties to local PROs and collecting societies, including SoundExchange.

The British streaming service has regular uploaders that strongly represent the indie scene.  This includes online radio stations NTS, The Lot Radio, and Red Light Radio.  Indie labels include Ninja Tune, Tru Thoughts, and Hospital Records.  Individual creators include Lefto, J Rocc, and Mr Scruff.

Speaking on the deal, Charles Caldas, CEO of Merlin, explained,

Merlin’s independent label members already contribute to a significant and growing part of Mixcloud’s programming.  With a long-term partnership in place we look forward to expanding this relationship, fueling new innovation, and ensuring our members’ extensive repertoire is reaching the widest possible global audience.