New York, NY, April 25, 2012: ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) and Rhapsody International Inc. have reached a new agreement for the Rhapsody subscription streaming music service with a two-year license for 2012 and 2013. The license allows Rhapsody to perform publicly the works of more than 430,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members of ASCAP. Rhapsody joins a growing list of major digital services that have recognized that the ASCAP blanket license offers an elegant solution to legally stream music while respecting the right of its creators to be paid fairly.
Although Rhapsody has been licensed since its inception, the new agreement represents ASCAP and Rhapsody’s first independent agreement since Rhapsody’s separation from long-time parent company, RealNetworks, in April 2010. While under RealNetworks operation, Rhapsody’s license fees to ASCAP were determined by a series of rate court litigations, interim arrangements and, ultimately settlement agreements for periods through 2011.
“It’s especially gratifying to have concluded this new agreement with Rhapsody in a highly cooperative manner. Rhapsody is today a prime example of a digital music service that is committed to providing a great music experience for consumers while paying its fair share to songwriters, composers and music publishers,” said ASCAP VP of New Media & Technology Matthew DeFilippis.
Rhapsody was the first subscription music service, launched in December 2001. Today, it is the largest premium subscription music service in the United States, with more than 1 million paying subscribers and more than 14 million tracks across nearly 600 genres. The Rhapsody service is available on more than 70 consumer electronic devices, including all smartphone platforms; more than any service of its kind. Rhapsody subscribers also enjoy original editorial content from its staff of the most renowned music writers anywhere, including reviews, features, playlists and more than 200 programmed radio stations.
“This license agreement enables us to fairly compensate ASCAP songwriters, composers and music publishers for performances of their works on Rhapsody while maintaining a healthy, stable business model that will further the growth of the digital music industry,” said Adam Parness, senior director, music licensing, Rhapsody. “We are pleased to work with ASCAP and its members. The combination of ASCAP’s vast repertory of works from across the musical spectrum with our constantly evolving and innovative streaming service delivers an incredible listening experience to our growing audience of subscribers.
In recent months, ASCAP concluded agreements with other digital streaming services, including Netflix and Hulu. As the global leader in collective music licensing, ASCAP is continuously pioneering new license agreements to accommodate the rapidly evolving digital music/entertainment marketplace. ASCAP licenses thousands of new and established services, ranging from start-ups to the biggest players on the Internet and mobile networks, as part of its mission to obtain fair compensation for more than 430,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members.
Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization (PRO) representing the world’s largest repertory totaling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 430,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members. ASCAP has representation arrangements with similar foreign organizations so that the ASCAP repertory is represented in nearly every country around the world where copyright law exists. ASCAP protects the rights of its members and foreign affiliates by licensing the public performances of their copyrighted works and distributing royalties based upon surveyed performances. ASCAP is the only American PRO owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. http://www.ascap.com
The Rhapsody® digital music service (www.rhapsody.com) gives subscribers unlimited on-demand access to more than 15 million songs, whether they’re listening on a PC, laptop, Internet connected home stereo or TV, MP3 player or mobile phone. Rhapsody allows subscribers to access their music through more touch-points than any other digital music service, including mobile phones from Verizon Wireless and MetroPCS, through Rhapsody applications on the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, RIM BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7 and Android mobile platforms as well as through devices from Vizio, SanDisk, HP, Sonos and Philips. Rhapsody is headquartered in Seattle, with offices in Frankfurt, London, Luxemburg, New York and San Francisco. Rhapsody, Napster, the Rhapsody logo and Napster logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Rhapsody International Inc. Follow @Rhapsody on Twitter and keep up with the latest on the Rhapsody Facebook page. www.rhapsody.com
Senior Vice President, Communications & Media
Bobbi Marcus Public Relations (for ASCAP)
Senior Director, Public Relations
Rhapsody International Inc.