Clear Channel Hearts Big Machine Records

Clear Channel’s iHeartradio has a new channel dedicated entirely to the music of popular record label Big Machine.  Big Machine Radio is a commercial-free, digital station that features exclusive content from Big Machine Label Group’s recording artists, including Taylor Swift, Rascal FlattsMartina McBride, Jewel and Justin Moore. The dedicated channel will play songs by the label’s artists, as well as feature artist interviews, acoustic and live versions of popular songs and other content.

To kick things off this week, Big Machine Radio will offer listeners a preview of Justin Moore’s sophomore album OUTLAWS LIKE ME – available in stores on June 21. Tuesday, April 26 at 10 a.m. ET, Justin will provide insight to Big Machine Radio listeners about his new project and songs included on the album. More special programming will premiere on Thursday, April 28, at 3:00 p.m. ET, spotlighting Jewel’s 2010 album premiere radio special for her acclaimed SWEET AND WILD release.

This innovative programming is an excellent example of the ways that streaming channels can offer added value to listeners, artists and stations. It gives the label a chance to showcase their music and connect with listeners. iHeartradio gets to extend their brand too by offering unique content that listeners can’t get elsewhere.

I’m wondering if there is a deal that waives performance royalties for this channel. It’s possible that Big Machine, in doing a deal with Clear Channel for this new channel, has decided to waive royalties or reduce them in some fashion. According to legal expert David Oxenford, there’s nothing stopping either of them from doing such a deal. Sure, Big Machine Radio would benefit from the promotion of a streaming channel dedicated to its artists. And while Clear Channel benefits as well, I doubt they created this channel for free. Whether the upside is a cash payment from the label to them or a reduction of royalties, my guess is there’s an incentive that acknowledges the promotional value of the streaming channel.

You can check out the stream here.

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