When Music Ally and British industry body the BPI held an event about music and podcasts earlier this year, one of the main talking points was about the difficulty of licensing music for podcasts. “Rights are a disaster,” being just the snappiest summary of the current situation.
Now podcasting-industry site Hot Pod News has been talking to Partisan Records co-founder Ian Wheeler about whether the situation is improving, particularly in the light of a recent announcement by SoundExchange that it was partnering with B2B firm SourceAudio on a ‘one-stop music licensing for podcasts’ site called PodcastMusic. Wheeler, who’s also involved in producing podcasts, is unconvinced.
“As a label owner, and especially artist manager, blanket licenses just tend to be really unpalatable… The money usually isn’t great and you run the risk of your song being used in a way that doesn’t align with the artist’s ethos,” he said. However, Wheeler pointed to a different green shoot: the fact that Spotify subsidiary Gimlet Media has hired respected music supervisor Liz Fulton. “It tells me that one of the very biggest players is ready to take music licensing seriously,” he said.