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Monday, December 7, 2015

Wetransfer’s music streaming platform sounds suspiciously free…


Written by Music Business Worldwide — Cloud-based file transfer application WeTransfer is getting into the music game.

That’s good news for anyone who regularly finds themselves waiting for batches of large files to arrive via the very handy site.

However, and we’ll see when it launches in early 2016, it might not be good news for artist bank accounts.

In order to clear up confusion around just how dedicated a ‘streaming service’ WeTransfer is planning to launch, the company has issued the following statement to media.

“To be clear, WeTransfer’s new music streaming-solution is not a direct competitor of SoundCloud, Spotify or other music-streaming platforms,” said the company.

“Those are dedicated players. [Our] streaming solution is very different and is primarily a marketing channel for the creator.

“With this player, artists get a focused campaign to deliver their content to our massive audience. It is more of a complement to their activities on Spotify or SoundCloud”.

Did you spot it? Those haunting few words that throw into doubt the idea of WeTransfer paying out due royalties to artists and songwriters?

Here they are again: ‘… primarily a marketing channel for the creator.’

MBW should hasten to add that we’ve had no confirmation of what WeTransfer’s player will be, but we do know that the Dutch company pulls in more than 80 million unique users each month.

If it thinks getting in front of that massive audience is a ‘marketing channel’ artists can’t do without, well, you know how that conversation goes.

Jane Dyball, CEO of independent music publishing digital rights group IMPEL, which collectively negotiates on behalf of publishers such as Beggars Music, Mute Song, Wixen Music UK, Bucks Music, Imagem and Fintage House.

Dyball, who is also CEO of the MPA Group of Companies, has a simple message for WeTransfer.

“The question as to whether any music use has a marketing or promotional benefit which might remove the need to pay a royalty is one that can only be decided by the owner of the music,” she told MBW.

“We’d invite any digital service which is presuming that every writer and publisher of music in the IMPEL repertoire is happy to waive their royalty to just check with us first…”

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