Thursday, April 26, 2018

IMPEL relaunches as independent collective licensing hub | UNLIMITED | CMU


IMPEL has now formally relaunched itself as an independent organisation. Calling itself IMPEL Collective Management, it aims to be the music publishing equivalent of Merlin, which represents many indie record labels in digital licensing scenarios.

Previously part of UK mechanical rights collecting society MCPS, which is in turn owned by the Music Publishers Association, IMPEL was originally set up when the major music publishers started licensing digital services directly rather than via the collective licensing system. The idea was that independent publishers could license digital in a similar way. Although the IMPEL scheme was administered by collecting society PRS, via its wide-ranging and long-term partnership with MCPS.

MCPS and MPA announced plans to spin IMPEL off as a standalone entity last year. Now an independent organisation, the new IMPEL this week announced an alliance with French collecting society SACEM, which will administer the digital deals IMPEL strikes up for itself. IMPEL will also have the option to participate in multi-territory digital licensing deals negotiated by SACEM on behalf of its member and other clients.

All of this new activity will be overseen by Matt Bolton, who takes on the role of Head Of Publisher Relations And Integration at the all new IMPEL. He was previously Head Of Digital, Europe at Universal Music Publishing, which also works with SACEM on its direct deals in the digital music space.

“Frankly SACEM blew us away with their level of understanding for our wish to represent our own interests”, IMPEL said in a statement confirming the new alliance earlier this week. “Being indie, our perspective is different, we are of course very commercial people and SACEM’s approach was by some margin more commercial than their competition”.

SACEM’s Jean Noel Tronc adds: “IMPEL’s role as a platform aggregating a variety of independent publishers to ensure that publishers are fairly remunerated in the rapidly evolving digital environment is fully in line with SACEM’s own approach to providing services to all our publisher partners in international licensing deals, due to our deep expertise and innovative, industry leading technology”.

Meanwhile, David Kassner of Kassner Music, which is one of the founding members of the all new IMPEL, comments: “We believe that SACEM fully appreciates IMPEL’s goals … [and the team there], recognising the potential for growth that the independent sector carries with it, met and exceeded our expectations in terms of the levels of service they have offered. We are delighted to be working with them”.

Other founding members of IMPEL v2 are Bucks Music, Reservoir Music, Legs Music, CTM Publishing, Truelove Music and Beggars Music.

Not all indie music publishers have chosen to transition over to the new IMPEL, however. Since the rights body became independent of the MPA, both Peermusic and Downtown have instead chosen to partner with copyright hub ICE on their direct digital licensing. ICE is co-owned by PRS and two other European collecting societies, STIM and GEMA.


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