Kobalt Announces Global Collection Society

Courtesy Kobalt
Willard Ahdritz, CEO of Kobalt.

Kobalt has formed what it describes as the world's first global digital collections society following last year's quiet acquisition of the American Mechanical Rights Agency, or AMRA. The independent music publishing company said it will use AMRA's "innovative approach" to rights administration to "provide fast, efficient royalty distribution with total transparency."

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According to Kobalt, the new society "will be based on a global, direct collection structure and advanced technology" and will offer two services: licensing of AMRA publisher members' Anglo-American repertoire to digital service providers; and collecting a writer's share of public performance monies on behalf of members.

"With AMRA, we are now able to fully execute our original Kobalt vision of trust and technology for creators and rights owners on a global scale," said Kobalt founder and CEO Willard Ahdritz. "AMRA allows us to offer service unlike anything ever seen before in royalty collections. The industry can no longer afford to spend $5 collecting $1 -- the efficiency and transparency of AMRA is the future."

The New York Times reports that the revamped AMRA -- the M now stands for Music -- will begin operating this summer. Terms of Kobalt's purchase of AMRA were not disclosed.

Kobalt Partners With IM Global

Meanwhile, Kobalt has entered into a co-financing and administrative partnership with entertainment studio IM Global Music. The deal means Kobalt will administer the musical scores and songs published by IM Global's film and television projects, beginning with Secret in Their Eyes, starring Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman.

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As part of the deal, IM Global Music has entered a digital distribution, label services and marketing agreement with Kobalt's label, AWAL, giving IM Global to option to release soundtrack albums under its own label.

"Kobalt is the perfect partner as we build IM Global Music into a next generation music and music publishing company," said IM Global Music president David Schulhof. "In addition I look forward to working with the Kobalt creative team to help find incredible songs for our projects."