Music Publishing News 1.13.17: Blackstone Acquires SESAC • IBM + SACEM = Better Music Tracking • Prince To Azoff’s Global Music


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US performing rights organization SESAC is now officially backed by Blackstone, one of the most powerful private equity companies in the world.  SESAC says that Blackstone’s money will help the company to become a truly global rights management powerhouse across performance, mechanicals, sync, and ever master rights.  

SESAC, like other US PROs BMI and GMR,  is also currently preparing to fight the US Radio Music License Committee to pay out higher composer royalties.

• French rights management organization SACEM has pledged to build an online platform that aims to better track online music usage and return more revenue to rights owners.  The platform, names URights, is being built via a 10-year partnership with global tech firm IBM, and will be available for use to other rights organizations and partners worldwide.  SACEM wants to better track the use of audiovisual content hosted on services like YouTube, in particular.

• Performance rights for Prince’s catalog will be represented by Irving Azoff’s Global Music Rights.  Prince and his team had been administering his publishing catalog since the artist left ASCAP in 2014, and the estate, represented by Bremer Trust, concluded that GMR’s philosophy of providing an elite group of writers with heightened customer service and control was most consistent with Prince’s values.  Azoff said, “Prince was an iconoclast, who never settled for second best, and now his Estate has ensured that the public performance rights are protected in a way befitting their significance.”