Fleetwood Mac, Clear Channel sign revenue-sharing deal

Clear Channel Media & Entertainment has signed an agreement with the veteran band Fleetwood Mac to share performance royalties from songs played on the radio, the company said Wednesday.

The agreement to let the performers collect revenue from plays on Clear Channel's broadcast and digital stations is the first to be negotiated directly with an artist, the company said.


"Reaching an agreement with them is the clearest sign yet that this kind of revenue-sharing model represents the industry's future," Bob Pittman, Clear Channel's chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The radio giant, which owns 850 stations along with the fast-growing iHeartRadio online streaming service, has already inked similar deals with independent record companies, but not with artists directly.

Traditional AM and FM stations in the U.S. are exempt from having to pay performance royalties. Artists and digital music companies have tried to change that.

The Clear Channel deals come as players in the emerging Internet radio industry are trying to lower their royalty costs.

Companies such as Pandora don't get the same exemption. 

Oakland-based Pandora said Tuesday that it's buying a terrestrial FM radio station in South Dakota to take advantage of lower rates.