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Royalty Assent: Collection Societies

Enthusiasts of pan-European music licensing hubs will not be disappointed this week, as key collection societies PRS for Music (UK), STIM (Sweden) and GEMA (Germany) officially join forces.

The combined venture will apparently increase the speed and accuracy of music matching and invoicing to ensure that rights-holders are paid more quickly and transparently, whilst making it easier for music services to secure licenses across multiple territories. In addition, the joint venture is aimed at lowering territory-by-territory administrative costs, which were criticised by label services company Kobalt upon launching its own global collection society AMRA earlier this year.

The European Commission for Competition approved the move in June this year, following investigations into the European online music market.

In case you were concerned about this one, all three societies will of course continue to license single territory digital music services on a national basis.

Recapping more or less everything reported above in a single monumental quote, Chief Executive of PRS for Music and CEO of the new hub Robert Ashcroft said: “We are immensely proud to announce the completion of PRS for Music, STIM and GEMA’s agreement to launch the first integrated music licensing and processing hub. We had a vision five years ago to support the fragmented music market by developing a hub that would encourage the aggregation of music repertoires and offer state-of-the art rights management systems run from a single, authoritative database. Today we are bringing that vision to life with the launch of this brand new company. It’s a defining moment for the music industry”.

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