Roblox strikes deal with music publishers

The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and video gaming platform Roblox have struck an agreement that settles any previous claims against Roblox.

The deal also “sets the foundation for future partnerships with global publishers that will unlock new creative and commercial opportunities on its platform”, according to a statement issued by the NMPA today (September 27).

Today’s announcement follows the news in June that a group of indie and major music publishers were — via the NMPA — suing Roblox for over $200 million in damages in the US, alleging widespread copyright infringement by the company.

This lawsuit has now been dismissed, according to the statement issued today.

According to the NMPA, the agreement announced today settles claims filed by NMPA members, and also offers an “industry-wide opt-in” open to all eligible NMPA publishers.

The deal also opens a negotiation period for members to engage individually, in what the NMPA describes as “new go-forward licensing deals” with the Roblox global platform, which the NMPA notes “brings millions of people together through shared experiences”.

The NMPA also says that the agreement now expands Roblox’s existing relationships with major publishers to the entire publishing industry.

According to a media statement: “Roblox will work closely with the global music publishing industry to help them unlock new ways for music to be more meaningfully integrated into the global Roblox community of more than 48 million daily active users.

“The deal paves the way for innovative partnerships between Roblox and publishers that will offer songwriters new ways to monetize their songs and catalogs.”

David Israelite, NMPA

“Roblox understands that music has the potential to play a more integral role on its platform.”

David Israelite, NMPA

NMPA President & CEO David Israelite said: “We are extremely pleased to have found a way forward with Roblox as it continues to offer a unique platform for musicians and songwriters in the metaverse.

“Roblox understands that music has the potential to play a more integral role on its platform.

“I appreciate Roblox’s willingness to work with us in pursuit of advancing the interests of publishers and songwriters and look forward to seeing how they expand virtual experiences through music.”

“We are pleased that the publishing industry sees the potential of Roblox to be a significant creative and commercial opportunity for its members.”

Jon Vlassopulos, Roblox 

Roblox Vice President, Global Head of Music Jon Vlassopulos said: “We are delighted to have come to terms with select NMPA members, building on our existing relationships with major publishers.

“We are pleased that the publishing industry sees the potential of Roblox to be a significant creative and commercial opportunity for its members.

“Music is a natural way for people to express themselves, be entertained, and connect with likeminded people. We strive to offer experiences that bring millions of fans together with the songwriters and artists they love.

“Roblox currently enables labels and publishers to reach millions of fans at once in hyper social, immersive environments such as launch parties and virtual concerts.

“Moving forward, we are committed to partnering with the music industry, as a whole, to create an exciting new social era of the music business which engages fans and artists in an unprecedented way in the metaverse.”

Back in June, NMPA’s lawsuit against Roblox was filed on behalf of plaintiffs including ABKCO Music & Records, Big Machine RecordsConcord  (with Pulse Music Group), deadmau5 (Joel Zimmerman), Downtown Music PublishingHipgnosisKobalt Music Group, MPL Music Publishing, peermusicReservoir Media Management, Spirit Music Group, and Universal Music Publishing Group.

Missing from that list was Warner Music Group, which acquired a minority stake in Roblox in January, and Sony Music Group, which has partnered with Roblox on in-game events with/by artists including Little Nas X and, Zara Larsson.

The NMPA’s deal with Roblox comes just a week after the NMPA struck an agreement with Amazon-owned livestreaming platform Twitch, which, in a statement, they said will see them “work together to build productive partnerships between the service and music publishers”.Music Business Worldwide