Limelight Knowledge Base/Different formats / configurations

What is interactive streaming?

Alex Holz
posted this on September 20, 2011 12:41 PM

Interactive streaming is simply "on-demand" streaming, allowing a user to listen to a recording at their request via digital transmission.  An example of interactive streaming would be including a music player on your website that allows a user to scroll through tracks and start/stop at their request, without having to download an audio file (i.e. MySpace, Rhapsody, Spotify).

Limelight's interactive streaming license is for audio-only recordings.  If you're looking to post to YouTube, you should secure a synchronization license direct from the music publisher(s) instead.

 

Comments

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RusticMaterials

Would the definition of "interactive streaming" include a streaming Soundcloud player on Facebook or a blog, despite the fact that the listener or "streamer" has not been given any option (free or for money) to download from Soundcloud?  I believe that it is somewhat likely that this would be considered "interactive streaming", but I wanted to check and make sure.

January 19, 2012 11:53 AM
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Alex Holz
Limelight

Absolutely - interactive streaming involves any time you can "start, stop, pause, switch tracks, go to another track".  Soundcloud is a definite example of interactive streaming.  Bandcamp, ReverbNation, and MySpace Music are other examples.

The option to download does not impact interactive streaming.  If you're offering out a download as well, that would require a digital download license separate from the interactive streaming.

January 19, 2012 12:24 PM
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Slo Music

Does this include YouTube? If yes, does this mean that YouTube artist that have over 5.000.000 views on their covers actually have to pay 50.000$ for that? This question might be ridiculous, but I'm new to this.

Thanks!

~ Luka

February 08, 2012 06:05 PM
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Alex Holz
Limelight

Hi Luka,

Unfortunately no -- YouTube is NOT included as part of Limelight (as it constitutes a visual synchronization).

In order to post a cover song to YouTube, you'll need what's known as a "synchronization license".  That license can only be granted by the music publisher(s) themselves.  Some publishers will waive the requirement to get that license if you're solely posting to YouTube, however it is always best to ask them directly.  Limelight can't clear YouTube uses and is specifically meant for audio-only recordings distributed via digital downloads, streams, ringtones, and physical CDs.

February 08, 2012 06:11 PM
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Slo Music

Alex, thank you for your quick answer.

I was somehow lead to Limelight by searching for synchronization license and related stuff. As I can not find a clear answer anywhere, and as I said - I'm new to this, and wouldn't want to do stuff wrong - does this mean I simply have to e-mail the publisher asking for their approval? I know this is not really a Limelight-related thing, but I'd be more than glad if you could answer.

Moreover, there's another thing I can't really understand. Let's say you're distributing your cover song via iTunes. You can't know in advance how many people are going to download it. What do you then? Is this again a totally different story?

Thank you again!

February 08, 2012 06:24 PM
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Alex Holz
Limelight

No problem Luka - definitely a good idea to reach out to the  publisher direct.  They'll provide back the details they need (such as what "media" you're looking to request, the songwriter information, and your recording).

As for the number of units - here is a Knowledge Base post about it: http://songclearance.zendesk.com/entries/20459827-how-should-i-determine-the-quantity-of-downloads-cds-units

February 08, 2012 06:26 PM
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Slo Music

Thank you for your help. This is all I needed for a start!

February 09, 2012 01:13 PM
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Nathan Burrows

Hi,   The musical group I'm a part of is considering working with CD baby to distribute our cover album online and would use your services to secure the appropriate mechanical licenses.  We are thinking of setting our digital distribution to Only sales. No streams. No subscription services. But latter in their FAQ, we read that in order to have our album available for purchase on iTunes, we would be required to participate in iTunes Match.   Is iTunes Match considered streaming and would we need to secure an additional license for streaming? 

 

Thanks

September 29, 2012 10:40 AM
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Alex Holz
Limelight

iTunes Match is a difficult one and unfortunately there's no "immediate" correlate to it in terms of licenses.  Best to contact the distributor and see if their agreement has iTunes handling the "Match" royalties or if you'd be fully responsible.

October 01, 2012 11:43 AM
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Slava Makovsky

Hi - are streaming license and ASCAP/BMI interactive Web license the same? If the website already have an agreement with ASCAP, does it also need one from you to stream music? Or either one is good enough? Thank you!

January 28, 2013 08:40 PM
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Alex Holz
Limelight

Hi Slava - they are separate licenses.  The interactive streaming license covers the actual use/streaming mechanical of the composition, whereas the ASCAP/BMI interactive web license covers the "performance".  It's best to ask ASCAP/BMI (or contact the publisher direct) if you're unsure as to the best license needed.  The publisher can often directly grant you a license for all uses if you'd prefer to handle them under one umbrella.

January 29, 2013 08:31 PM
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Cat Bolton

Hi Alex ~ I am acquiring a mechanical license from HFA to record a song that will be put on a personal website.  It will be the only song on the site.  Is this considered interactive streaming use?

February 06, 2013 05:20 PM
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Alex Holz
Limelight

Hi Cat,

You may want to contact HFA for further clarification (as only they can discuss how their own licenses apply). 

February 06, 2013 05:22 PM
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Cat Bolton

Thanks, I'll do that! 

February 06, 2013 05:28 PM
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Steve Schultz

Does the interactive streaming rate apply to clips of cover songs? For example, if you offer a 30 or 60 second preview of your recording for someone to consider buying it?

March 08, 2013 10:45 AM
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Alex Holz
Limelight

Hi Steve,

The business rule here (not a hard and fast one, but one that's been accepted by most services) is that clips under :30 seconds are acceptable (so long as you've licensed at least one configuration -- such as a digital download/physical CD) without counting as an actual stream, though anything greater than :30 seconds would require a royalty payment.. An interactive stream is an audio-only stream where you can start/stop/rewind/fast forward through the song at your choosing.

Hope that helps!

-Alex 

March 08, 2013 10:56 AM
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Channing Moreland

Hi Alex,

I am trying to design an interactive website and we are looking to add a music streamer.  Do you know if I could easily stream itunes or spotify using a playbar or a widgit?  Which would be easier? I know that you can stream spotify on your website when the actual application of Spotify is open, but I was looking for something easier.

Thanks,

Channing

July 17, 2013 12:02 PM
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Alex Holz
Limelight

Hi Channing - probably best to check out Nimbit, ReverbNation, or one of the online players available. iTunes offers some limited streaming (via the :30-90 second previews), but this is generally outside our purview.

July 17, 2013 12:05 PM
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Channing Moreland

Thanks! I still would like to know more about what itunes has to offer, because we like the idea of the previews of songs.  Do you know where I could find out more info on that? 

 

-Channing

July 17, 2013 12:09 PM
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Alex Holz
Limelight

Short of streaming your own songs (or someone else's), which you can find out more about at www.apple.com, I do not have further insight.

July 17, 2013 12:17 PM
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Gabriela Alaniz

For US streaming, is the record label responsible for the streaming license or is the distributor/ distribution platform?

July 31, 2013 02:22 PM
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Alex Holz
Limelight

IT depends on the agreement - often it's the online music service that's responsible. It all comes down to the language in the user agreement.

July 31, 2013 02:31 PM
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max snow

Would this be a situation in which you would have to sign up for interactive licensing. If a user has the ability to create a playlist, a 15 song minimum playlist that is, and is unable to play/pause, and does not know the order of the songs played for it would function as a radio, would this constitute as non-interactive? 

August 13, 2013 07:13 PM