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New leadership and expansion plans at SESAC

By | Published on Friday 1 August 2014


America’s third song right collecting society SESAC has new management and is planning further expansion.

Controlled by private equity group Rizvi Traverse since the end of 2012, a new top team has been appointed at the rights firm, with John Josephson, a former MD at investment bank Allen & Co, becoming CEO; incumbent Pat Collins becoming CEO of SESAC Performance Rights; and Kelli Turner becoming CFO and VP Of Corporate Development.

Unlike ASCAP and BMI, which are both not-for-profit, SESAC is a commercial venture, though likewise licenses the songs of its members for public performance in the US. With the operations of ASCAP and BMI currently under review by the regulator of such things, and much debate over the ways songwriters and publishers should be licensing digital services, there has been much speculation that SESAC sees opportunity for growth in a licensing domain currently in flux.

And new boss Josephson has confirmed that, telling Billboard: “SESAC has big plans that go beyond the scope of what [its] business has been for the past 22 years. What motivates me to take this position is I see a lot of change coming and SESAC is in a great position to benefit no matter what direction the industry’s evolution takes”.

Quite where SESAC is headed remains to be seen, though rumours continue to circulate that it is bidding to buy the main music publishing ‘mechanical rights’ firm in the US, the Harry Fox Agency. Plus there maybe other acquisitions similar to its purchase last year of micro-licensing platform Rumblefish.