Matthews, a former Executive VP and General Counsel of Viacom, was unanimously voted for by ASCAP’s board.
She replaces former CEO John LoFrumento at the New York-based performing rights organisation, with her new position effective immediately.
LoFrumento retired on December 31, 2014 after 33 years with ASCAP.
Matthews joined ASCAP in 2013 from Viacom and has been involved in attempting to modernise ASCAP’s licensing structure – particularly reform of the ‘consent decree’ that currently prevents publishers from negotiating their digital rights direct with DSPs liek Pandora in the US.
ASCAP’s board comprises 12 writers and 12 publishers and is chaired by songwriter and performer Paul Williams. He said: “Now, more than ever, songwriters and composers need an advocate we can trust to ensure our work is valued fairly in a rapidly changing music marketplace. What we do is vital to the future of music. Beth’s experience in the global multimedia content sector, her deep understanding of the complexities of the music business and her passion for protecting the rights of music creators make her singularly qualified for the CEO role. Her enthusiasm for taking on the new challenges of the digital era is unparalleled.”
Said Matthews: “ASCAP is an expansive, forward-looking and adaptive service organization that successfully built and grew the market for performance rights for songwriters and publishers in the United States. As CEO, I am excited about building on our unique assets to offer new, innovative services to our members and licensing partners. As new media platforms transform how we listen to music, it is critical that we evolve our own business models and update outdated music licensing laws to better reflect the reality of today’s music marketplace.”Music Business Worldwide