Sony ATV strikes pan-EU deal with PRS and Gema

Sony/ATV Music Publishing has signed a deal that will see UK collection society PRS For Music and German society GEMA administer licences for Sony/ATV’s pan-European digital rights for AngloAmerican repertoire.

This new joint venture, called SOLAR, will administer a single new licence to cover the exploitation of the combined Anglo-American catalogues of Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing. SOLAR will provide administration services for online and mobile licensing across Europe and other regions.

The launch of SOLAR follows the 2012 acquisition of EMI Music Publishing by Sony/ATV which brought the Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing catalogues together. This consolidated offering ensures that licensees have easy access to both repertoires.

Sony/ATV represents copyrights of legendary artists as The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Carole King, Kraftwerk, Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Richie Sambora, Sting, The Supremes, Wyclef Jean, Hank Williams and Stevie Wonder. Its also represents the publishing interests of modern stars such as Avicii, Calvin Harris, Jessie J, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, John Mayer, P!nk, RedOne, Shakira, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Stargate, Taylor Swift, Kanye West and Pharrell Williams.

The move builds on current licensing vehicles CELAS and PAECOL to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for licensees wishing to access both repertoires, which include some of the world’s most iconic songwriters and composers.

The new arrangements will replace existing solutions where Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing’s respective Anglo-American catalogues have been subject to separate arrangements for pan-European digital exploitation.

To date, the digital licensing of Sony/ATV’s AngloAmerican catalogue has been managed by PAECOL, a subsidiary of GEMA, and the digital licensing of the EMI Music Publishing Anglo-American catalogue has been managed by CELAS, a joint venture between PRS for Music and GEMA.

Martin Bandier, Chairman and CEO, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, said: “This agreement not only builds on our already successful relationships with PRS for Music and GEMA, but makes the licensing process in Europe more straight-forward as services will now have only one place to go for both Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing repertoire. It is also great news for our songwriters as we look to continue to facilitate licensing in this rapidly-evolving and expanding sector.”

Sony/ATV EVP Digital & Society Relations Antony Bebawi said: “We’re delighted to be continuing our already strong partnership with GEMA and PRS for Music. They are two societies with which we share a strong belief in and commitment to providing the highest level of administration to support the pan-European licensing of digital services and to deliver improved services to our songwriters.”

PRS for Music Chief Executive Robert Ashcroft said: “We’re delighted to launch this new onestop licensing shop, and further support the pioneering development of Sony/ATV and EMI Publishing’s online business in Europe. This agreement is a vote of confidence for the Hubs strategy and consolidation activities that we and GEMA are close to launching with our partner
STIM. SOLAR will ensure licensees have easier access to this exceptional combined repertoire.”

Dr. Harald Heker, Chairman of GEMA’s Executive Board, said: “GEMA has accompanied the licensing and administration of both catalogues – Sony in PAECOL and EMI in CELAS – since the year 2007. We are proud to continue this path with Sony and EMI in SOLAR, together with our partner PRS. Our focus in SOLAR will remain to strive for excellence in the field of administration to the benefit of all authors.”

Alexander Wolf, Executive Managing Director, SOLAR Music Rights Management, said: “We feel privileged to continue our long cooperation with Sony and EMI Publishing by combining the administration of both publishing catalogues in SOLAR Ltd. We look forward to a fruitful relationship in the challenging years to come.”

Bebawi said: “As well as delivering improved services to our songwriters, licensees will now benefit from the increased efficiency by offering one license and one administration process where there were previously two. This will further simplify the licensing landscape and further increase the efficiency in the market.”

Sony/ATV presently has pan-European deals with a large number of services including Amazon, Deezer, Google, iTunes and Spotify.Music Business Worldwide

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