Pandora calls for ‘level playing field’ in radio royalties
Pandora is ramping up its lobbying efforts for the next set of radio royalties negotiations. “This lack of a level playing field is fundamentally unfair and indefensible,” claims co-founder Tim Westergren. He points out that Pandora paid more than 50% of its revenues in royalties to artists and labels last year, versus 7.5% for Sirius XM and nothing for broadcast radio stations.

Mog goes live on Ford’s Sync connected-car platform

The two key new frontiers for streaming music services in 2012 are the living room and the car. US firm Mog has inked a deal with Ford to integrate its service into the carmaker’s Sync connected car platform from this year. Mog isn’t alone on Ford dashboards – the company already has deals with Pandora, iHeartRadio and Slacker – but they’re all personal radio services rather than Mog’s on-demand offering.

YouTube gets more publishing deals for user-generated videos
YouTube has signed a bunch of new publishing rights deals for videos on its service, including BMG, ABKCO Music and Songs Music Publishing. Artists covered include Adele, Foo Fighters and the Rolling Stones, and the deals follow last year’s agreement with NMPA / Harry Fox Agency. The deals mean more songwriters will share in ad revenues around UGC videos using their music.

10.5m monthly active users for Dhingana streaming service
Indian firm Dhingana says it now has 10.5m monthly active visitors, making it “the world’s top on-demand streaming music service”. A clear broadside at rival Saavn, which said in March that it had 9.3m active users (Bulletin, 20-Mar-12). Dhingana says more than 4.5m people use its mobile apps every month, that it’s adding 200k new users a month, and it serves nearly 100m minutes of monthly music.

45 Sound app promises to improve gig-videos’ soundtracks [Startup]
We’re intrigued by 45 Sound, a startup promising to replace the dodgy soundtracks on iPhone-shot gig videos with high-quality audio. Its iPhone app has just gone live: “We replace the original sound of your video footage (which is usually fairly poor) with a high-quality recording of the exact same part of the concert. Now when you upload your video to YouTube and share it on Facebook, it will sound as good as it looks…”

Pop music site Popdust raises $4.5m
US music website Popdust now has 1m unique monthly visitors, and has raised $4.5m in venture capital funding for its expansion plans. The site focuses on pop music, and has a new CEO in former XM Satellite Radio boss Hugh Panero. Popdust recently moved into e-commerce via a Popdust Style fashion site, with music artist Karmin curating its first collection. a local streaming music service for local people [Startup]
Bands in Columbus, Ohio will soon have a streaming music service devoted to their part of the world. It’s called, and is launching towards the end of this month, with ambitions of ultimately expanding far beyond its launch market. The service’s USP is its focus on local bands, though: “Streaming radio for local, independent music”. Competing against Pandora for local ad dollars, though? Tough.

EarPods and phone

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