Universal has put any licensing deal with SoundCloud on hold while the service is engaged in a lawsuit with PRS for Music.
That’s according to a couple of Digital Music News sources, with one stating outright: ““[UMG] doesn’t want to do the deal with PRS suing.”
Back in August, the major label was said to be close to inking a deal, following previous agreements between the streaming service and Merlin, the NMPA and Warner, which is said to own a 5% equity stake. Universal was reportedly chasing a significant equity stake of its own in exchange for licensing rights, plus guarantees on a future subscription-based tier.
But less than two weeks later, PRS for Music sent a letter to its members, informing them that, “following five years of unsuccessful negotiations, we now find ourselves in a situation where we have no alternative but to commence legal proceedings against the online music service SoundCloud”.
One source told Digital Music News: “PRS isn’t just suing SoundCloud, it’s everyone involved in SoundCloud: investors, partners, whatever. That’s not something Universal wants to get entangled in, better to let the smoke clear.”