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Published: 3/17/2015

SESAC’s Rumblefish Launches RADKey

New Technology Enables YouTube Creators to Block Ads or Monetize Videos, While Compensating Bands and Artists

(Portland, OR -- March 17, 2015) – Rumblefish, the pioneers of music micro-licensing and a subsidiary of the music rights organization SESAC, today launched RADKey, a patent-pending innovation that allows video creators to instantaneously block ads or monetize videos on YouTube while compensating bands and artists. The announcement was made today by Paul Anthony Troiano, CEO, Rumblefish.


RADKeys solve a major challenge for the entire music micro-licensing ecosystem, allowing properly licensed songs to be administered accurately and immediately.  It serves as an important new innovation in micro-licensing that will allow instant copyright license verification, end illegitimate take-downs for video creators, let YouTube creators block ads or monetize videos, and create new income and career-boosting data for artists and record labels.

RADKeys enable video creators to instantly either block ads or monetize their video on YouTube according to the license they purchased.  This is a much-needed, major step forward for the industry. Currently, RADKeys are available at participating online music licensing marketplaces, most notably via Shutterstock Music (SSTK), where users are issued a RADKey for each music license purchased. The keys are also integrated into Audible Magic, who provides digital fingerprint content recognition technology that enables fast and accurate identification of music in video networks such as Facebook, Dailymotion, Vimeo, Twitch and others. Rumblefish will be announcing additional RADKey partners at this year’s SXSW Music Festival.

“We saw an enormous issue for video creators and artists who were having trouble navigating the YouTube claiming system and we provided a solution that’s good for YouTube, video creators and artists alike,” Troiano states. “We’re making the internet literate when it comes to reading music licenses, which removes enormous friction for video networks, video creators, and artists and labels. RADKeys function like a music license ‘barcode’ that enables video creators to use licensed music in their videos and easily monetize that video or block ads, all while fairly compensating artists.”

Rumblefish was acquired in 2014 by SESAC as a strategic move to continue to offer a broad array of services to the music rights organization’s stakeholders, including songwriters and affiliate, as well as continuing to be the forefront of technology.

“SESAC has always had a strong vision for the future of music licensing and rights administration and our acquisition of Rumblefish was the first move in that direction,” said John H. Josephson, SESAC Chairman and CEO. “Investing in RADKey furthers our vision to offer an expanded, more efficient licensing and administration model with a first of its kind technology. SESAC is continually seeking opportunities to use new technologies to help creators maximize the value of their works and RADKey represents an important new means for them to expand the universe of digital platforms on which their works can be monetized.”

Much like keys that unlock computer software, a RADKey conveys data regarding what kind of license the user has purchased. After entering the unique RADKey into YouTube, YouTube and Rumblefish communicate programmatically, informing the video network that they have a license and are opting to either monetize or block ads on their video. Each key is unique and secure and cannot be used by an unlicensed party or for the wrong song.

This simple and secure solution to a common and vexing problem was more than four years in the making. Rumblefish has been in the licensing business for a decade and a half, first as a traditional music placement house, licensing tracks to TV, film, and advertisers. Then as the company’s catalog grew to millions of tracks, and partnerships extended across the web, Rumblefish led the music micro-licensing charge.


Rumblefish is the world leader in music micro-licensing and online video monetization. Its micro-licensing platform allows social video networks, video applications and marketplaces to offer music functionality on web, tablet and mobile offerings, providing access to the world’s largest copyright-cleared music catalog of more than 5 million copyrights. The company makes music for online social video easy and legal, and has had over 65 million videos use its music tracks, resulting in 1.4 billion YouTube views per month and millions of dollars in royalties for its artists. Rumblefish clients include YouTube, Shutterstock, Google, Tango, Vimeo, SocialCam, Vizify, and WeVideo; and partners include CD Baby and APM. The company has offices in Portland OR, San Francisco and Los Angeles. www.rumblefish.com

SESAC is a leading music rights organization. In addition to Rumblefish, SESAC owns SESAC Performing Rights, a service organization founded in 1930 to serve both the creators of music and music users through music licensing and timely, efficient royalty collection and distribution. The most progressive music rights organization in the U.S., SESAC Performing Rights is the only PRO to pay monthly radio royalties and was the first among the PROs to pay for live performances to songwriters and publishers. SESAC Performing Rights is known for its diversified repertory that includes genres ranging from Adult Contemporary, Urban, Jazz, Rock, Americana, Contemporary Christian, Latin, Country, Gospel and Dance. SESAC Performing Rights represents an impressive gallery of artist catalogs including Kurt Cobain, Mariah Carey, Nikki Sixx, Zac Brown, Jerry Cantrell, Robert Johnson’s catalog including the legendary song, “Crossroads,” the classic hit “Unchained Melody,” Mumford & Sons, Jimmy Napes, Charli XCX, Disclosure, Paul Shaffer, RUSH, Bryan Michael Cox, the Avett Brothers, Lady Antebellum, Thompson Square and Swizz Beatz.  SESAC also represents iconic songsmiths Bob Dylan and Neil Diamond.  Additionally, SESAC has long represented the music on some of TV’s biggest shows including Grey’s Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, Parenthood, Dateline NBC and Dr. Phil among many others.www.sesac.com

For Rumblefish:
Dmitri Vietze, Rock Paper Scissors
812/327-1513, music@rockpaperscissors.biz

Katie Schroeder, Rubenstein Communications
212/843-8036, kschroeder@rubenstein.com

Megan Duzi, Rubenstein Communications
212/843-9354, mduzi@rubenstein.com

For more infomation see:
"Q&A with Rumblefish CEO Paul Anthony Troiano."
"Rumblefish Hands Keys (And Money) to Video Creators With RADkey"
(Billboard 3/17/15)
"Rumblefish Reveals RADKey, The “Barcode of Music Licensing” At #SXSW" (hypebot.com)