Local Karaoke Company Forced to Pull Songs After Licensing Lapse

In The Daily Dumpster Blog by Clay Dudaleave a COMMENT

A South Knoxville company that specializes in providing streaming karaoke services nationally took a hit earlier this month when a licensing contract with Sony/EMI expired and the commercial karaoke music provider was forced to remove thousands of songs from its online catalog.

Digitrax Entertainment announced in a blog post June 20 that its licensing agreement had lapsed and it would lowering the subscription rate for its Karaoke Cloud service to $49.99 monthly as it worked to renegotiate a contract with the music industry behemoths. Karaokecloud.com offers commercial karaoke services geared towards being sort of one-stop-shop for bars, restaurants, and other establishments looking to host live karaoke performances.

“We are negotiating with them [Sony/EMI] to renew our license as quickly as possible, however, they are in the midst of multiple lawsuits against other karaoke labels (not DTE/Karaoke Cloud) in the USA and UK (US case listed here– PDF), which is adding an unforeseen layer of complexity to the negotiations,” a blog post signed by CEO Joe Vangieri reads.

(This article from the Hollywood Reporter offers a good crash course on the Sony karaoke lawsuit, which overall is kind of long and complicated.)

The Mercury profiled Digitrax Entertainment last year along with a handful of other Knoxville startups making breakout moves. At the time, Karaoke Cloud included about 8,000 licensed songs. According to the company’s current website, it now hosts about 2,800 licensed tracks.

Following the announcement, Vangieri wrote that the company was continuing to work on reaching an agreement with Sony, and he remained hopeful. To help weather the storm Cloud Karaoke is offering to maintain the lower monthly subscription rate for current customers even after–or if–they reach an agreement to put Sony’s catalog back online.


Former Mercury staff reporter Clay Duda has covered gangs in New York, housing busts in Atlanta, and wildfires in Northern California. And lots of stuff about Knoxville.

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