Publishing Briefs: Music Reports Inc. Administered Over $500M in 2016

Elsewhere in the publishing world, IMPEL announces its tally for royalty payouts in 2016 and Warner/Chappell Nashville extends a pact with THiS Music.

-- Music Reports Inc. (MRI) reports that it administered over $500 million in royalty payments in 2016 while processing more than 600 billion performances music and video content, encompassing over 250 million licenses.

Those payments were made for mechanical, public performance and synchronization licenses, for music uses on digital music services, social network applications and via television broadcast.

“Last year, we listened carefully to rights owners’ concerns to develop more and better licensing and administration features than ever before, and it was incredibly rewarding,” MRI VP and general counsel Bill Colitre said in a statement. “…We expect even greater numbers in 2017.”

During 2016, MRI rolled out a suite of new online tools, allowing rights owners to register and correct their catalogs, including offering a claiming system to fix songs with missing or faulty data, as well as helping to find cover recordings.

As part of its new tools, MRI’s dashboard also allowed them to access full archives of their licensing, royalty reporting and payment histories, and showing publishers’ relative performance across on-demand streaming services.

MRI also provided a portal that allowed music services like Pandora and Amazon to enter into direct licensing deals with publishers. MRI says it will soon offer new license opportunities for publishers involving both mechanical and synchronization rights from other prominent music services.

“We are able to offer and administer all kinds of license agreements for any rights type on behalf of our clients, built on the strength of Songdex,” MRI’s database of music rights and related business information, Colitre said.

-- While it didn’t break out any revenue numbers, IMPEL (Independent Music Publishing e-Licensing), which provides pan-European mechanical licensing to digital services for the Anglo-American repoirtoire of such indie music publishers as Beggars Music, Imagem, and SONGS Music Publishing and about 45 other indie music publishers, says its royalties payout for licensing last year increased by 60%.

"IMPEL is a major player now in the digital space,” IMPEL CEO Jane Dybal said in a statement of the service, which is a part of the U.K.-based Mechanical Copyright-Protection Society (MCPS) and also uses PRS For Music’s systems and resources. “By uniting their repertoire and pro-actively engaging with the digital community the independent publishers are operating on a par with the majors. With repertoire spanning decades, genres and which has been recorded by iconic artists from Elvis to Bowie to Drake, the IMPEL repertoire has become an essential repertoire for digital services.”

In fact, another music publisher using IMPEL—which is a part of the U.K.-based Mechanical Copyright-Protection Society (MCPS) —Reservior/Reverb Music COO Rell Lefargue reported that its company’s pan-European royalties have experienced triple digit growth, year-on-year, since joining up. “ IMPEL helps to level the playing-field for independent music publishers and our songwriters, as we continue to top European charts time and time again, Lafargue said in a statement.

- Warner/Chappell Nashville has extended its worldwide co-publishing partnership with THiS Music, which was formed in 2006 by owners Rusty Gaston, Tim Nichols, and Connie Harrington in partnership with Warner/Chappell Music. Rusty Gaston is a force of nature, said Ben Vaughn, President, Warner/Chappell Nashville. His relentless drive and passion for growing songwriters careers is legendary on Music Row and beyond. The company that he, Tim Nichols, and Connie Harrington built together just celebrated its 11th year of success – an incredible achievement – and everyone at Warner/Chappell is thrilled to continue our longstanding relationship and looking forward to making more great music together.”

 THiS Music’s roster includes: Deric Ruttan, who co-wrote Jason Aldean’s current rising single “Any Ol’ Bar Stool”;  Ben Hayslip, who co-wrote Thomas Rhett’s hit “Star of the Show.” In addition to Nichols and Harrington, other songwriters on the roster include Jessi Alexander, Marv Green, JT Hardin, Drew Baldridge, and Emily Weisband.