The European Commission has given the green light for PRS for Music (UK), STIM (Sweden) and GEMA (Germany) to combine and create a one-stop licensing service across Europe on behalf of over 250,000 songwriters.
The hub will enable partner societies, digital service providers (DSPs) and rights-holders to work with a single transaction point – both for ‘back office’ data processing services as well as ‘front office’ online licensing services.
This not-for-profit triumvirate, says the trio of CMOs, will result in significant cost-savings for songwriters and publishers; lowering the sort of territory-by-territory admin costs recently criticised by Kobalt as it launched its own worldwide digital performance rights CMO, AMRA.
PRS says that benefits of the new joint venture include:
- Faster and more accurate invoicing and royalty payments at a time when the usage data from online services is growing from billions to trillions annually;
- Simplified licensing negotiations for digital music services operating across Europe, reducing barriers for innovative new online services;
- Trusted service from organisations representing significant European repertoire with years of combined experience of back office processing and music licensing;
- Reduced processing costs based on unparalleled economies of scale;
- Full transparency for all rightsholders, with confidence inspired by collective ownership;
- A major contribution to online cultural diversity as the new hub will bring multi-territory licensing within reach of smaller repertoires.
The joint venture will also aim to resolve issues related to split-copyright licensing by integrating back office processing and matching services with front office licensing services.
Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive, PRS for Music said, “This is a very significant day for online music licensing as our new joint venture is uniquely positioned to deal with the rapidly transforming online music market.
“What this clearance means is that we are now able to work even more effectively on behalf of songwriters, composers and their music publishers, while at the same time helping to develop the Digital Single Market across Europe.”
Karsten Dyhrberg Nielsen CEO STIM added: “Today’s Competition Clearance announcement is testament to the incredible work that has gone into the design of this new offering, which will provide a seamless service for both music rightsholders and pan-European digital service providers.
“It’s the result of years of productive collaboration between STIM, GEMA and PRS for Music to deliver a solution that will help the digital market grow.”
Dr Harald Heker, CEO GEMA (pictured) said: “Our hub enables fluidity, agility and speed in the multi-territory market, facilitates the licensing process for digital service providers and improves the quality of rights administration for the benefit of rightsholders and users.
“The JV constitutes an important new chapter for the whole rights management industry and a huge step forward towards the development of an EU-wide Digital Single Market for music.”Music Business Worldwide