GCap Gambles On Securing Music Licensing For On-Demand Radio

UK commercial radio leader GCap is pressing ahead with plans to offer seven-day internet music radio catch-up without authorization from labels whose tracks will be included. Earlier this week, some people were left scratching their heads when GCap switched on the feature, which adds on-demand listening for full shows broadcast initially on the Xfm alternative music stations. Although UK commercial radio’s representative RadioCentre umbrella inked a deal with music licensing body PPL back in April governing use of recorded music in radio programs downloaded from the internet, the license only covers music clips of up to 30 seconds and was primarily aimed at podcasts; RadioCentre has not yet secured agreement for its member stations to make full tracks available via download as they would be in on-demand shows.

We asked GCap and a spokesperson confirmed the company was forging ahead without a net – it doesn’t yet know how much it will have to pay labels for the privilege: “We haven’t cleared these rights directly with the rights holders. The RadioCentre is leading the discussions with the rights holders for commercial radio as an industry. We are confident that both parties will reach agreement on the best way to license this new media activity – we believe it is important that this is negotiated on behalf of commercial radio as a whole. Once the license terms are finalized, all back payments owed will be made in full.” Perhaps the haste indicates a necessity to start getting some innovative products online quickly enough to offset falling radio ad revenues.