Artists now have another way to make money from their Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift cover songs. Loudr has launched Loudr Licensing, an easy-to-use platform where artists and labels can get the requisite mechanical license needed to monetize a cover song on iTunes, Spotify and other channels. The service charges a flat $15 plus the cost of royalties.
"With the launch of this product we're rebranding as a rights company," Chris Crawford, Loudr co-founder and CEO tells Billboard. "Our vision is to produce accessible technology for people that need rights. We want the Loudr name to be associated with rights. You come to Loudr to get rights."
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Loudr Licensing arrives amidst two notable events. One is the closing of Limelight, a mechanical rights platform acquired by Google in 2011 that offers the same $15-flat fee rate. Limelight will stop providing mechanical licenses on March 31st and all licenses will be unavailable after June 30th. The other event is the recent rate increase by the Harry Fox Agency from 8.5 percent to 11.5 percent on April 20th.
San Francisco-based Loudr originally launched in 2009 as A Capella Records. The licensing service was targeted specifically at a capella groups and offered mechanical rights and a direct-to-fan storefront for cover songs. The company rebranded in 2013 and opened itself up to other genres.
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Much of Loudr Licensing's systems are unchanged from the original service, although the new service offers licenses for multiple products such as streams, downloads, CDs. The company can also work with artists that use other distribution services, and it can work with labels, too.
In addition, artists can use Loudr Licensing to distribute content on most any platform, such as iTunes, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, and any physical formats. But the service doesn't cover YouTube. For that an artist needs a synchronization license.