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Clear Channel and Warner Music Group signed a radio deal in the US yesterday that may have much wider implications in that market. Promotion for WMG’s artists across Clear Channel’s radio stations and iHeartRadio service is part of it, but the key aspect is the media group’s agreement to pay performance royalties for plays on its terrestrial stations. It’s the biggest such deal yet, although Clear Channel has signed similar agreements with a number of indie labels. Scaling up to a major label may lead to further deals with WMG’s rivals, and increase the pressure on rival radio groups to follow suit. Not everyone is happy: music body MusicFirst said the news was “no substitute for a real, industry wide AM/FM performance right”, so pressure for the latter will continue. For added context, check economist David Touve‘s post running the numbers – the deal’s rate is rumoured to be 1% of radio revenues – to suggest that it values each radio performance at $0.0001 per listener.

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