Facebook money: Wixen and Kobalt say they will pay songwriters fairly

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It’s no secret that the world’s music rightsholders are currently banking serious checks from Facebook, following deals which MBW sources suggest are effectively ‘blind’ advances not linked to reported activity on the service.

Two significant publishing companies who have recently agreed licensing deals with Facebook –  Wixen and Kobalt – have now told us of their intentions to distribute a fair portion of this money to songwriters.

Wixen’s deal with Facebook was announced earlier this week by their European partner SACEM.

The agreement covers 180 territories across platforms such as Facebook, Oculus and Instagram Messenger for various use purposes.

Wixen founder Randall Wixen told MBW today: “For more than 40 years, we have distributed all settlements and blanket payments to our clients. When not allocated by the payor by song title, we do this by internal market share or other reasonable method.

“To do anything else would be reprehensible to us. This will apply to Facebook and any other such forthcoming funds.”

“For more than 40 years, we have distributed all settlements and blanket payments to our clients. To do anything else would be reprehensible to us.”

Randall Wixen

In January, Kobalt announced that it had licensed Facebook for a similar deal.

Speaking as part of an interview earlier this month, the company’s CEO, Willard Ahdritz, told MBW: “We will be accounting for 100% of the money we receive from Facebook in our standard transparent manner, as we always do.”

The comments come in the same week that British songwriters’ body BASCA called on major publishers to share their proceeds from Facebook with their songwriter clients.

Crispin Hunt, BASCA Chair said: “The so-called ‘evergreen’ catalogue is arguably only so verdant because it has been historically over-watered in lieu of correct data. 

“With the potential of today’s technology for granular digital data such anachronistic inaccuracy is no longer excusable in music – the right music must receive the right monies. If it’s played it should be paid.”

Music Business Worldwide

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