The newly independent IMPEL has named music lawyer Sarah Williams (pictured) as its CEO.
IMPEL (Independent Music Publishers’ E-Licensing) Collective Management Ltd is the new collective licensing agency representing digital publishing rights.
It is 100% owned and controlled by its members, which comprise a number of respected independent publishers including Bucks Music Group, Beggars Music, Reservoir Music, Kassner Music and Truelove Music.
Williams is an independent music and entertainment lawyer with a career spanning law, politics, conflict resolution and the non-profit sector. She runs her own legal and business affairs consultancy, Big Picture Legal.
She has worked in the music and entertainment field since 1992 when, at the height of the Acid House/Techno/House revolution, she started advising a number of dance labels.
From there she developed her practice in Birmingham and Manchester, eventually moving down to London.
Over the years, Williams has represented an eclectic range of clients including artists, creators, labels, publishers, promoters, distributors, film and TV production companies, and other media businesses within the creative industries.
In recent years, she has specialised in publishing, consulting for leading publishers such as Sony/ATV, Universal, Warner/Chappell and Concord Music. She has also worked with the Music Publishers Association, in particular on issues of governance and EU compliance.
Williams’ appointment as CEO comes after Bucks Music Group’s Simon Platz and Beggars Music’s Andy Heath were confirmed as IMPEL Chairman and President respectively at the organisation’s first AGM in October 2018.
The IMPEL membership represents a diverse collection of works recorded by many of the world’s biggest artists, including Ed Sheeran, Stormzy, Dua Lipa, David Bowie, Ray Charles, Rihanna, Beyonce, Calvin Harris, Elvis Presley and more.
IMPEL’s member companies had an interest in 15 of the UK’s Top 100 singles of 2018 and an impressive 39 of the Top 100 albums.
Reservoir Media and Bucks Music Group were involved in the No.2 single of 2018 – God’s Plan by Drake; while IMPEL members had interests in no less than seven of the UK’s Top 10 albums of 2018. BDi Music was the highest placed IMPEL publisher in the album rankings, thanks to its involvement in Ed Sheeran’s ÷, which finished the year at No.3.
An evolution of the IMPEL organisation founded in 2010 under the Music Publishers Association umbrella, the new IMPEL was established outside of the MPA in April 2018 and signed a processing and distribution agreement with SACEM in July that year.
“I couldn’t be more excited to have this chance to lead IMPEL into a period of growth and development.”
Williams said: “I couldn’t be more excited to have this chance to lead IMPEL into a period of growth and development.
“IMPEL’s independent spirit and collaborative ethos chimes exactly with my own and, together with the great team at SACEM, we are going to be at the forefront of innovation in digital licensing.
“Our vision is to turbo-charge our members’ digital income and energise their digital rights strategy. Watch this space!”Music Business Worldwide