CÜR Music, a platform vying to compete with heavyweights like Spotify and Apple Music, has launched in the US this week with 10 million licensed tracks.
According to Music Business Worldwide, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group have all licensed CÜR Music in the past few weeks.
CÜR Music is most commonly described as a “hybrid streaming service” that “intersects internet radio services like Pandora and on-demand services like Spotify”. But most recently, the company has raised $1.75 million in financing led by members of the company’s management and board of directors, which has sparked changes.
On the steering level, Bob Jamieson has now resigned as the vice president of CÜR’s Board, and Barefoot Media boss Bill Campbell has joined the company’s Board.
Perhaps more important, big deals have now been completed. According to an 8K SEC document filed last Tuesday (January 19th), CÜR Media has entered into a “Framework Digital Distribution Agreement” with Sony Music Entertainment for a “limited non-exclusive license under SME’s copyrights to digitally distribute a wide catalog of certain sound recordings and related materials owned or controlled by SME”. Sony has protected itself with a guaranteed advance from CÜR which reportedly starts at the end of this month.
The same SEC filing also revealed that CÜR entered into a ‘Subscription Streaming and Enhanced Radio Services Agreement’ with Warner Music Inc on January 13th. Warner has granted CÜR ‘with a limited non-exclusive license to stream certain sound recordings and display related artwork and other materials owned or controlled by Warner’ within the US.
And just like Sony, there’s a guaranteed advance involved.
CÜR’s Universal deal is covered in a separate SEC 8K document, filed yesterday (January 25th). It says that CÜR has entered into an “Audio Streaming and Conditional Download Agreement” with UMG effective January 15th. UMG has agreed to provide a limited, non-exclusive license under Universal’s copyrights to ‘digitally distribute a wide catalog of certain sound recordings and related materials owned or controlled by Universal in connection with the Company’s CÜR-branded Internet music service’. There is no mention of advances, yet.
CÜR has two ad-free subscription tiers: one at $2.99 a month (‘Octo’), and one at $6.99 a month (‘Inked’). ‘Inked’ gives users an option to listen offline, but both are significantly cheaper than Spotify and Apple Music, whose typical premium service costs users $9.99 per month.
The price point sets CÜR apart from the existing music streaming companies monopolizing the market. The new agreements with the major music companies could be what differentiates CÜR from its competitors.
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