17 June 2015

PRS for Music, STIM and GEMA combine to create brand new, cost efficient and one-stop service across Europe on behalf of over 250,000 songwriters

European Commission grants clearance for the establishment of a ground breaking licensing and processing hub. It will enable partner societies, digital service providers (DSPs) and rightsholders to benefit from unparalleled economies of scale, the most modern systems available and state of the art processes based on years of combined experience in collective management, servicing and shaping the digital market from the outset.
In a ground breaking move, PRS for Music (UK), STIM (Sweden) and GEMA (Germany) have today been given clearance by the European Commission to set up a pan-European online music rights licensing and processing hub. This will transform pan-European music licensing by enabling ease of access for digital music services to music rights as well as provide faster and more accurate payments of royalties to writers and their music publishers. It is the first combined offering of its kind and marks a major step forward for co-operation between collecting societies. The hub is fully in line with the transparency aims of the Collective Rights Management Directive. The new joint venture will become the first multi-repertoire hub to provide integrated ‘back office’ data processing services as well as ‘front office’ online licensing services. The decision to approve the hub has been warmly welcomed by the joint venture partners and follows years of investment. The benefits of the new joint venture include:
  • Faster and more accurate invoicing and royalty payments at a time when the usage data from online services is growing from billions to trillions annually
  • Simplified licensing negotiations for digital music services operating across Europe, reducing barriers for innovative new online services
  • Trusted service from organisations representing significant European repertoire with years of combined experience of back office processing and music licensing 
  • Reduced processing costs based on unparalleled economies of scale
  • Full transparency for all rightsholders, with confidence inspired by collective ownership
  • A major contribution to online cultural diversity as the new hub will bring multi-territory licensing within reach of smaller repertoires
The joint venture will also resolve issues related to split-copyright licensing by integrating back office processing and matching services with front office licensing services.  This will result in ensuring that its systems will record copyrighted works accurately, reducing the possibility of licensees receiving incorrect invoices and eliminating hold ups and disputes. In addition, administration costs will be highly competitive, as the hub’s economies of scale will be passed directly to rightsholders in what is a not-for-profit venture. Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive, PRS for Music said, “This is a very significant day for online music licensing as our new joint venture is uniquely positioned to deal with the rapidly transforming online music market. What this clearance means is that we are now able to work even more effectively on behalf of songwriters, composers and their music publishers, while at the same time helping to develop the Digital Single Market across Europe.” Karsten Dyhrberg Nielsen CEO STIM added: “Today’s Competition Clearance announcement is testament to the incredible work that has gone into the design of this new offering, which will provide a seamless service for both music rightsholders and pan-European digital service provi-ders.  It’s the result of years of productive collaboration between STIM, GEMA and PRS for Music to deliver a solution that will help the digital market grow.” Dr Harald Heker, CEO GEMA said: “Our hub enables fluidity, agility and speed in the multi-territory market, facilitates the licensing process for digital service providers and improves the quality of rights administration for the benefit of rightsholders and users. The JV constitutes an important new chapter for the whole rights management industry and a huge step forward towards the development of an EU-wide Digital Single Market for music.” About GEMA
GEMA represents in Germany the copyrights of more than 69,000 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. About PRS for Music
PRS for Music
PRS for Music represents the rights of over 110,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK.  As a membership organisation it ensures creators are paid whenever their music is played, performed or reproduced; championing the importance of copyright to protect and support the UK music industry.
www.prsformusic.com About STIM
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 77, 000 songwriters, composers, text authors and music publishers worldwide.
www.stim.se Contact:
Tania Pearson, Corporate Communications Manager, PRS for Music
email: tania.pearson@prsformusic.com, telephon: +44 (0)20 3741 4401 Linda Johansson, Corporate Communications Manager, STIM
email: Linda.Johansson@stim.se, telephon: +46 8 783 89 91