In our discussion yesterday about the barney that’s erupted between YouTube and the Performing Rights Society(which collects cash for songwriters), I mentioned Pandora’s exit from the UK market due to hefty PRS fees.
Well, now Last.fm has weighed into the debate with its own take on things. Founder Martin Stiksel says that both sides need to find a resolution – and quick – before less-than-legal alternatives take hold. Stiksel wants cheaper and “less complicated” licenses as a result:
“It is a fundamental problem that we have been facing in that online music licensing is getting more complicated and more expensive. We pay each time one users listens to a song or watches a clip and, while that is more accurate because it makes sure the more popular songs get paid more, it is also very expensive. Terrestial radio pays a fixed minimum and that works out a lot cheaper – we have to find commercially workable rates otherwise illegal services will win and take over.”
Last.fm currently relies heavily on YouTube for its video content, so it has a vested interest in keeping the service going. The service has Last.tv in the works for the future, though, as a way of serving personalized music television to people. That could be interesting when it happens.
PRS and Google are due to meet over the next few days to see if they can find a resolution to the crisis.