Business News Deals Digital Labels & Publishers

Sony/ATV announces new joint venture to provide one-stop-shop licence for Europe

By | Published on Thursday 25 September 2014

Sony ATV

Pan-European music licensing, that’s never confusing is it? Sony/ATV, PRS and GEMA are set to build on the success of CELAS and PAECOL by launching SOLAR to administer digital licensing for Sony/ATV and EMI. Like I said, not at all confusing.

This is basically a follow-on from the acquisition of the EMI music publishing business by a Sony-led consortium in 2012, that basically brought the former under the control of the latter, creating a music publishing powerhouse.

Both Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing had arrangements in Europe that meant their respective Anglo-American catalogues could be licensed by digital services on a multi-territory basis through a single license. These arrangements were designed to overcome one of the weaknesses of the collective licensing system that the publishers initially relied on to handle digital service licensing, which is that any one collecting society was usually only empowered to licence music-using businesses in its home market.

Sony/ATV offered a one-stop-shop licence via PAECOL, a subsidiary of the German music publishing sector’s collecting society GEMA, while EMI uses CELAS, a JV between GEMA and UK society PRS For Music. New venture SOLAR involves Sony/ATV/EMI, GEMA and PRS, and replaces the previous set-ups.

Confirming all this, Sony/ATV top man Marty Bandier told reporters: “This agreement not only builds on our already successful relationships with PRS For Music and GEMA, but makes the licensing process in Europe more straight-forward as services will now have only one place to go for both Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing repertoire. It is also great news for our songwriters as we look to continue to facilitate licensing in this rapidly-evolving and expanding sector”.