Exclusive Interview with LyricFind’s Founder & CEO: Darryl Ballantyne.
August 14, 2015
By Monica Tong
With China on its toe to act on copyright infringement and days after 2.2 million songs being removed from some of the country’s most popular digital music sites, LyricFind and R2G find their way to legitimate and exclusive collaboration promoting global rights starting with one of Asia’s largest country, which has seen, year on year, a increasingly improving and growing economics. And this time round, it’s not just about the music.
Darryl Ballantyne is no stranger to the world of music and lyrics. Together with Mohamed Moutadayne and Chris Book, they have conceived LyricFind in 2000 to what it is today – the largest and most accurate destination for lyrics on the Internet. Their collaboration with EMI Music Publishing saw the birth of the first-ever mass lyric licensing deal. LyricFind is now the largest legal, licensed lyrics database in the world representing rights from all major publishers.
Darryl Ballantyne shares with Music Asia collaboration with its China counterpart R2G.
Please explain in more detail this exclusive strategic partnership with R2G.
It’s a mutually exclusive partnership for one of the fastest growing and exciting music markets in the world. R2G will exclusively represent LyricFind in this region and no other lyrics company for forging new lyrics licenses with Chinese music companies and closing deals with Chinese music publishers to further extend LyricFind’s leadership and strength in having the world’s largest licensed catalogue of lyrics.
Why partner with R2G?
Our partnership with R2G is a step towards licensing those other companies. R2G has already been successfully working with music publishers to license other rights to many companies in China, so having them represent us for lyric licensing was a natural step. We wanted a local partner with an established history in the music business and a track record of getting rights holders paid for their works. LyricFind’s Chief Revenue Officer Will Mills also has a history of working with R2G, and after joining LyricFind in February discussions of a broader deal picked up steam as part of Will’s growth plans.
With the announcement of this collaboration with R2G, are you expecting any big numbers (users) from China?
It would be glib of me to throw exact numbers out there, but obviously China has the world’s largest population and one of the fastest growing mobile/internet user bases. It’s also very much dependent on the services we license to there, but obviously it would be a very large number!
Piracy has always been an issue in China. Do you think working with R2G will be the first step into curbing this long-time “tradition”?
R2G has done a fantastic job licensing many music services and growing a great legitimate music business that pays rights holders. Likewise at LyricFind, we’ve made great strides in defeating piracy in the online lyrics space. So our histories and expertise in these areas serendipitously converge on this partnership.
How will the partnership with R2G directly benefit your existing partners?
For our 100 plus clients that range from global giants like Amazon, Deezer, Pandora, Microsoft, HTC, Shazam, and SoundHound through to many apps/services/websites, it means that the largest licensed catalogue of lyrics is going to get even larger and better experience for their growing users bases in China and beyond.