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LyricFind is the world’s leader in licensed lyrics solutions and is trusted by some of the biggest names in the industry, including Amazon, Google, YouTube, Deezer, Microsoft, Soundhound, iHeartRadio and many others. LyricFind provides its partners with an extensive catalog of accurate and fully legal lyrics, licensed from all the ...

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Christine Brackenhoff

The Year of the Legal Lyric: How LyricFind Tipped the Balance in 2014

“As of 2014, every significant lyric website in English is now licensed or shut down,” proclaims LyricFind CEO Darryl Ballantyne. He would know. The company, which he co-founded, has spent the last decade creating a lyric licensing infrastructure, which launched a new, multi-million dollar revenue stream for publishers and empowers websites and music apps to legally use lyrics for a variety of uses.

“There are no big offenders out there anymore,” Ballantyne explains. “The last big one was LyricsMania, and we did that deal this past year. We continue to work with the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) to help the remaining smaller and medium-sized lyric websites become legal or find a different business model.”

“Through its antipiracy program, NMPA has sent takedown notices to over 300 unlicensed lyrics sites and licensed over three dozen,” says David Israelite, the President & CEO of NMPA. “LyricFind has been instrumental in helping infringing sites obtain licenses and continue operating. It is important for music fans to be able to access lyrics and LyricFind has been a valuable partner in legalizing these sites as an alternative to shutting down completely.”

LyricFind’s business-to-business platform connects the publishers of millions of songs, with websites, hardware companies, and software applications worldwide that want to display or otherwise use lyrics to support advertising, search, or music streaming or download services.

On the publishing side, LyricFind represents all the major publishers (Universal, Warner-Chappell, and Sony/ATV) and over three thousand independent publishers worldwide. LyricFind’s exclusive deal to license all Universal lyrics in the English language worldwide makes their offer especially helpful to lyrics websites and applications. Additionally, through partners like the Harry Fox Agency, CSDEM and APRA AMCOS, LyricFind also represents lyric licenses on behalf of foreign publishers around the globe.

On the client side, LyricFind licenses and feeds lyrics to several music services including Deezer, Amazon, iHeartRadio, HTC, Shazam, SoundHound, Bing, and many more. LyricFind also licenses and feeds lyrics to lyric websites and apps like LyricsMode, MetroLyrics, LyricsMania, SongMeanings, LyricsFreak, Sing365, and hundreds of others.

In an interesting twist of events, not since sheet music’s popularity before recording technology have lyrics become such a significant source of revenue for publishers. It’s only now, thirteen years after the Napster injunction, that the infrastructure for rights management in the digital era makes it possible for developers to use lyrics in new and interesting ways legally. Lyric innovations in recent years include lyric search, lyric videos, multi-lingual song releases, and community forums for lyric annotation.

In 2013, LyricFind introduced synchronized lyric delivery, using their timestamp metadata to allow streaming apps to seed a whole new world of innovation. In the final two weeks of 2014, Deezer released their Lyrics feature using LyricFind’s time-stamped lyric offering so that listeners can sing along with their favorite or newly discovered songs. It’s too early to say what creative products will emerge in 2015 with this leading-edge development.

One thing that is for sure as we move into a new year: Lyrics will be integrated into more and more apps and websites thanks to the decade-long haul by LyricFind. And 2014 was the turning point for lyrics; the moment when there were no longer any excuses to have lyrics everywhere music shows up.