Positive Signs from the Industry on SoundExchange’s Acquisition of CMRRA

Positive Signs from the Industry on SoundExchange’s Acquisition of CMRRA

The music industry is applauding SoundExchange’s groundbreaking purchase of the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA).

SoundExchange announced Monday that it acquired CMRRA, a music licensing collective representing the vast majority of songs recorded, sold and broadcast in Canada on behalf of music publishers. Music publishers and record labels across North America have come out in favor of the acquisition.

“This agreement between SoundExchange and CMRRA represents the new era of cooperation in the music industry. Songwriters, music publishers, artists, labels and digital service providers must work together to create a vibrant business for all,”
– David Israelite, president and CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association.

“The Canadian Music Publishers Association supports CMRRA and SoundExchange on this important announcement. We are especially pleased to see the establishment of an independent Canadian Publishers Committee that has been established to oversee and maintain the advancement of the interests of CMRRA’s publisher clients in Canada,” said Vince Degiorgio, president of the Canadian Music Publishers Association board of directors.

“Any initiative that increases efficiency and gets creators paid makes sense for independent labels and artists,” said Richard James Burgess, CEO of A2IM. “Based on SoundExchange’s track record in enhancing the royalty administration process, the acquisition of CMRRA should improve efficiency across the entire industry. SoundExchange is the trusted partner for creators. The new venture creates an opportunity to serve an even larger community of music makers.”

Andrea Finkelstein, senior vice president of Business Affairs, Operations and Administration with Sony Music, said: “This agreement brings the music publishing and sound recording sectors together to solve common problems in rights management and data quality. Aligning SoundExchange’s sound recording and back office expertise with CMRRA’s resources directly addresses the need for authoritative and comprehensive data on repertoire and the sound recording and publishing rights associated with it. This is a win for the industry.”

Daniel Lafrance, general manager of Editorial Avenue and a member of the CMRRA Board of Directors, said: “CMRRA has always worked very hard on behalf of its clients. This transaction to bring us under the SoundExchange umbrella will allow us to do even more. It represents a positive development for CMRRA and the music industry.”

Paul Robinson, general counsel for Warner Music Group, said: “SoundExchange’s acquisition of CMRRA is a significant development for the effective management of copyrights in both sound recordings and musical compositions. Combining the strengths of these two important organizations, under unified management, will create unique and exciting possibilities for publishers, songwriters, labels, artists and digital music services.”

Cary Sherman, chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, said “It’s a good day for the entire music industry when the vast complexities of our business can be simplified, making it easier for music creators to be paid. This transaction is an important step forward, as SoundExchange and CMRRA together can combine their experience and technical resources for the benefit of songwriters and music publishers, as SoundExchange has benefited artists and labels for more than a decade. This union is precisely the sort of intermarriage our industry needs.”

Victor Zaraya, president of Razor & Tie/Kidz Bop, said: “SoundExchange offers state of the art data management and administration services to its community of creators. By extending its reach into music publishing, they will have the opportunity to diversify their customer base beyond recording artists, record labels and DSP’s. This move benefits the entire industry.”

Why have so many organizations come out in favor of the deal?

Executives throughout the industry believe that SoundExchange can be a game changer. SoundExchange can leverage the work done for the sound recording side of the business to the benefit of music publishers and songwriters. The result – quicker, more efficient and transparent royalty payments for all creators of music.

For those unfamiliar with CMRRA, Hypebot summed it up nicely in its story: CMRRA offers the Canadian music industry services similar to those of The Harry Fox Agency (HFA) in the U.S. HFA was itself bought by performing rights organization SESAC in 2015, they wrote. The rights owners that CMRRA represents own or administer the majority of songs recorded, sold and broadcast in Canada. On their behalf, CMRRA licenses songs for the reproduction of music on CDs, vinyl and digital downloads and collects royalties on behalf of publishers and songwriters.

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