Transition Music Corporation | Are the Relationships Between Publishers and PROs in Danger?
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Are the Relationships Between Publishers and PROs in Danger?

Are the Relationships Between Publishers and PROs in Danger?


Publishers and New Media Rights Withdrawals


To date, the following ASCAP publisher members have withdrawn certain limited “New Media” rights, effective as of the dates noted below:
  1. EMI – May 1, 2011
  2. Sony/ATV – January 1, 2013
  3. BMG/Chrysalis Music – July 1, 2013
  4. Universal Music Corp. – July 1, 2013
The following ASCAP publisher members have provided a revocable notice of their intention to withdraw certain limited “New Media” rights, effective as of the dates noted below. 
  1. Kobalt Music Publishing – October 1, 2013
  2. Wixen Music Publishing, Inc – October 1, 2013
  3. Imagem – January 1, 2014
  4. Next Decade Music – January 1, 2014
  5. Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. – January 1, 2014

Why are all of these publishers withdrawing rights from ASCAP and BMI?  Are the relationships between publishers and PROs suddenly in danger?


 For all of you shaking in your boots, relax it’s just a headline. Let us put it in perspective.  This conversation is about digital music rates and services like Pandora, and Sony/ATV, EMI, UMPG wanting a better license rate from these services than the PRO’s can negotiate.  The way for these mega publishers(SonyATV/EMI, UMPG, and BMG account for an estimated 60% of global publishing revenue) to bypass the laws that regulate PRO’s and what they can charge is to pull this slice business –which today is a tiny portion of their revenue- and license directly to the carriers, bypassing regulations that set pricing. Bottom line, the mega publisher are using their market share and dominance in the market to set the digital rates for the future. The relationship between the PRO’s and Publishers is NOT IN DANGER. In fact, one of the publishers who withdrew their digital rights subsequently negotiated with a PRO to administer their new direct deal at their better rate. Lastly, today this is not big business for publishers and songwriters, but it is the future and should not be ignored. In the real world of dollars and cents it is not feasible for smaller companies to manage the work of direct licensing. Our suggestion is to watch, wait and see how the big guys use their clout to drive up rates and redefine market share.