As the radio industry’s standoff with Global Music Rights continues, Entercom has become the latest group to sign a direct deal with the Irving Azoff-led performance rights organization. The long-term agreement will give Entercom access to GMR’s catalog of hit songs from artists such as Nicki Minaj, Drake, Bruce Springsteen and Prince across all its on-air and digital platforms.
“We are excited to partner with Irving and the team at GMR,” said Entercom David Field in the announcement. “They represent some of the top talent on radio today. The combination of Entercom’s reach and GMR’s music is a huge win for our audience.”
Terms of the agreement, including its length were not made public. But it is believed to be more than five years. The deal also means Entercom will drop out of the lawsuit filed by the Radio Music License Committee against GMR.
“Music always brings people together,” said Azoff in a statement. “David is a music fan so it’s no surprise that he welcomed the opportunity to work together to bring great music to fans through Entercom’s network.”
GMR has previously struck long-term licensing agreements with iHeartMedia and Townsquare Media. Its arrangement with Townsquare Media has, however, expired according to insiders who tell Inside Radio a handful of other broadcast groups have also signed licensing deals, but details are being kept confidential.
Meanwhile, most other radio groups remain in limbo with GMR. Earlier this month it offered to extend an interim licensing deal with commercial stations with a 20% rate increase over the prior interim deal that is set to expire on March 31.
The Radio Music License Committee is engaged in a four-year court battle over antitrust allegations, a fight whose resolution has been delayed by the pandemic.
The faceoff began in November 2016 when the RMLC filed an antitrust lawsuit in federal court in Philadelphia alleging GMR violated federal law when it allegedly created an “artificial monopoly” to squeeze higher rates from stations. Two weeks later GMR replied with an antitrust lawsuit of its own, which contended the radio consortium is essentially an “illegal cartel.” In April 2019 the Philadelphia case was dismissed and the two sides have been doing battle in Los Angeles.