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Ryan Tedder and Pharrell sign to Azoff’s new performing rights agency

By | Published on Monday 28 July 2014

Global Music Rights

So, let’s throw this into the ongoing US collective licensing debate shall we? It’s emerged that both Ryan Tedder and Pharrell Williams have signed up to a new performing rights body called Global Music Rights, which is part of the new entertainment company set up by one time Live Nation chief Irving Azoff.

And, according to a Billboard report, it seems that by allying with GMR, Tedder and Williams will leave collecting society ASCAP, instead allowing Azoff’s new agency to represent them in the performance right licensing game.

GMR will presumably operate a little like SESAC, the smallest of the performing right organisations in the US which, unlike BMI and ASCAP, is a commercial venture. Like SESAC, it seems likely GMR will sign up a small number of significant pop songwriters, making it hard for broadcasters and other public performance licensees not to sign up for a licence, in order to utilise a small but important catalogue of songs.

Most of the artists managed by Azoff’s own management agency are expected to participate in GMR, though Tedder and Williams are with Azoff’s former business for management, Live Nation’s Front Line.

Quite how GMR will work, licence and collect isn’t entirely clear just yet. Though its launch comes at a time when collective licensing in America is up for review, with rights owners reckoning the rules governing BMI and ASCAP are outdated, and some threatening to withdraw from the collecting societies completely if the Department Of Justice doesn’t change the rules. Though the UK management community has questioned whether that is really an option.



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