Podcasting and Philippine Music Licensing

Some Philippine music licensors treat podcasts like radio broadcasts.

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I received a CD of a Pinoy indie musician for Christmas, and wanted to feature one of the songs in the Viloria.com Pinoy podcast, which is about Tagalog lessons and stories from the Philippines. I tried getting permission from the artist via a common friend, and was informed to get in touch with his publisher/licensor.

The publisher at first said it was all right, but balked at the thought that the podcast would be a downloadable file.

So I offered the following:

1. What if I speak or do a voice-over during the artist's performance?
2. What if the download is a low resolution (24 or 64 kbps) version?
3. What if the artist's performance is offered as a streaming audio instead of a downloadable one?

The issue was discussed with Top Management and they came back with a request for a high four-figure advance (in Philippine pesos) so that I may use the song for one year.

It looks like they look at this home-produced/hobby podcast (with less than 60 feed subscribers) as a radio broadcast of sorts.

Anyway, I just thanked them. No, I won't feature the artist and his song anymore. While I'm disappointed I won't be able to share the song with you, I'm happy (?) that some people treat Filipino podcasts as sponsored programs that have a four- to five-figure budget per song.

For podcasters: Please get permission first before inserting a song in your podcast, even if you will speak over the music. Not every song is considered "podsafe".

For podsafe music (meaning you don't have to pay any kind of advance or licensing fee; you'll need to make the proper attribution, naturally) please visit http://music.podshow.com

It's a pity there are no OPM songs or Pinoy bands there (last time I looked).

(I'm curious, though... Do artists who make samples of their music freely available online sell more than those who take the traditional approach? It looks like Magnatune believes in the no DRM policy [link via TechCrunch])

[ First posted on 12/29/2005 by Manuel Viloria ]

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