SESAC is the second oldest Performing Rights Organization operating in the US, and – unlike rivals ASCAP and BMI – is a for-profit entity.
SESAC argues that its for-profit status helps it “drive efficiency in licensing for music users” and to provide timely, efficient royalty collection and distribution for its clients.
SESAC represents the rights of over 30,000 songwriters and film composers including artists such as Adele, Burna Boy, Christophe Beck, Rosanne Cash, David Crosby, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Lalah Hathaway, Kesha, Gabriel Mann, R.E.M., and many more.
SESAC has offices in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, London and Munich, and is led by CEO John Josephson.
Blackstone Group takeover of SESAC
In January 2017, Blackstone Group announced that it had entered into an agreement to fully acquire SESAC Holdings. The transaction closed later that quarter.
Blackstone Group acquired SESAC from Rizvi Traverse Management for a sum believed to be close to $1 billion.
At the time, John Josephson said: “We are excited to partner with Blackstone. The long-term investment horizon of their core private equity platform was especially attractive to us as we seek to execute our company’s growth strategy in our primary performance rights business, as well as mechanical rights, administrative services, multi-rights and multi-territory licensing.”
SESAC’s acquisition of The Harry Fox Agency and launch of Mint JV
SESAC operates in conjunction with a number of affiliates that service its industry partners in different fields.
These affiliates include The Harry Fox Agency, Rumblefish, and Mint Digital Services.
SESAC completed its acquisition of US mechanical rights organization The Harry Fox Agency from the NMPA in September 2015 for an undisclosed fee.
The buyout transformed SESAC into an organization able to track and collect both performance and mechanical royalties for songwriters and publishers in the US.
In August 2016, SESAC announced the launch of a new JV in tandem with Switzerland’s leading collection society, SUISA.
That JV, Mint Digital Licensing, is a multi-territorial platform representing rights across Europe and beyond.
Mint licenses rights for both SUISA and SESAC’s repertoires, as well as other music publishers who sign up to the service.
The launch came in response to the European Commission’s wish for cooperation among music rights organisations to enable users to negotiate licenses with as few companies as possible.Music Business Worldwide