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News September 2, 2020

Song Exploder episodes taken down due to cost of music licensing

Former Assistant Editor
Song Exploder episodes taken down due to cost of music licensing
Denzel Curry & Hrishikesh Hirway / Twitter

Hrishikesh Hirway has revealed he’s being forced to take down episodes of iconic music podcast Song Exploder because he has been unable to keep up with the cost of licensing fees.

Song Exploder was one of the earliest music podcasts, having run since 2014 with Hirway serving as host for most of that time.

It features musicians deconstructing their own music, taking listeners behind their process.

Despite the artists behind the songs actually being the stars of the podcast, Hirway says many labels still charge him fees to license the music used in each episode, and the running cost is becoming too hard to keep all episodes published.

“This is a bummer, but I’m starting to take episodes of Song Exploder down,” Hirway wrote on the Song Exploder Twitter page.

“I’ve always hoped they’d all be available forever, but the reality of music licensing makes that impossible. As the podcast approaches 200 episodes, it’s just too expensive to keep all of them afloat.”

To date, the popular podcast has featured artists of all ilks, from rising acts through to international names like Metallica, The Killers, MGMT, U2, and Bjork.

Hirway has also gone behind theme songs for television programs like Stranger ThingsGame Of Thrones and House Of Cards, as well as deconstructed scores from films including Black Panther.

He clarified that while some labels and publishers have allowed songs to feature with no cost, licensing periods are beginning to expire for others.

“I should clarify that the labels and publishers that do ask for music licensing fees have generally tried to give me good rates, relatively,” he continued.

“But even paying a small amount starts to add up with so many episodes, and it costs even more to *renew* a music license.”


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