14 January 2015
PRS for Music, STIM, and GEMA prepare for further co-operation with European Commission to launch new hub service
The European Commission has taken the procedural step of continuing its investigation, under the EU Merger Regulation, into the proposed launch of a multi-territory licensing and processing hub by PRS for Music (UK), STIM (Sweden) and GEMA (Germany).
The hub aims to create easier access for digital music services to clear music rights, and faster and more precise payments of royalties to rights holders. PRS for Music, STIM, and GEMA had planned to begin launching services from the hub in early 2015, subject to competition clearance. Notwithstanding this delay, the partners remain committed to bringing their new service offerings to the market as soon as possible, once the approval of the European Commission has been obtained.
The collective rights management organisations behind the venture are confident that their vision for a new licensing and processing hub will benefit the market and look forward to providing the European Commission with further analysis and market data.
The hub is set to be the first multi-repertoire hub to provide integrated ‘back office’ data processing services and ‘front office’ digital multi-territory licensing services to authors, publishers, other collective rights management organisations and digital service providers (DSPs). The joint venture has been developed in order to reduce licensing and distribution challenges currently inherent in the digital market place.
Commenting on the news from the European Commission, Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive of PRS for Music said: "Given the complexity of the multi-territory digital market place and the scale and scope of the ground breaking solution that we are bringing to the table, it is understandable that our joint venture is subject to an in-depth assessment. We will continue to co-operate fully with the European Commission and look forward to a successful resolution of the process."
Harald Heker, CEO of GEMA stated: "This hub is a response to, and fully in line with, the objectives of the CRM Directive which encourages the aggregation of repertoires for pan-European licences in order to simplify the licensing process for DSPs. We’ve designed it from the ground up to bring benefits to both rightsholders, including authors, publishers and smaller collection societies, and DSPs."
Karsten Dyhrberg Nielsen, CEO STIM added: "Notwithstanding this delay, we continue to believe that collective rights management can be significantly improved through closer collaboration across national borders. This hub allows us to share infrastructure costs and encourages us to invest jointly in systems able to support better efficiencies, accuracy and speed. Our objective is to benefit all who enjoy what is the core of our industry - the creation of music."
Benefits of the proposed hub include the following:
- Encouraging the aggregation of repertoires for pan-European licences resulting in simplified licensing for DSPs, assisting smaller and innovative services in particular to be able to start operating on a pan-European basis more quickly and efficiently.
- Solving the problem of split-copyright invoicing by integrating back office processing and matching services with front office licensing services ensuring that the systems will record copyrighted works accurately, reducing the possibility of licensees receiving incorrect invoices and eliminating hold ups and disputes.
- Providing an unprecedented level of accuracy enabled by the consolidated copyright database that lies at the heart of the hub.
- Enabling partners and rightsholder customers to benefit from the economies of scale offered by the operation, offering them the best systems, processes and operations available.
Tania Pearson, Corporate Communications Manager, PRS for Music
+44 (0)20 3741 4401
Karin Jihde, Communications Director, STIM
+46 (0)8 783 88 05
Ursula Goebel, Director of Communications, GEMA
+49 (89) 48003-426
STIM is a Swedish collective management organization for music creators and publishers. On their behalf, STIM administers and licenses performing and mechanical rights to music and lyrics. STIM is a non-profit organization representing 74, 000 songwriters, composers, text authors and music publishers worldwide.
GEMA represents in Germany the copyrights of more than 65,000 members (composers, text authors and music publishers), as well as over two million copyright holders from all over the world. It is one of the largest societies for authors of works of music in the world.