European Licensing Organization IMPEL Looks to Replicate Merlin's Success As It Goes It Alone

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Sampha and writers for Britney Spears and One Direction are among those represented by member publishers

Pan-European licensing organization IMPEL will become a fully independent collection society in a move that the organization says will benefit its members and help grow the digital music business.

Founded in 2010, IMPEL -- which stands for Independent Music Publishers’ E-Licensing -- is a collective of indie music publishers managed as part of the MPA Group of Companies and administered by U.K. collection society PRS for Music.

As per other collection societies, it provides independent publishers with the ability to offer their repertoire on a multi-territory basis to digital music services under a single license.  

IMPEL’s nearly 50 publisher members represent songwriters such as Ina Wroldsen (Britney Spears, One Direction), Grammy winner Amy Wadge (Janelle Monae, Keith Urban) and Sampha (Beggars), as well as songs recorded by Ed Sheeran, 2 Chainz, Drake, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, Glass Animals, Rag'n'Bone Man and Camila Cabello.

Until now, the London-based organization has used MCPS (the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society) to license and administer its members’ online mechanical rights for Anglo-American repertoire.

Fulfilling long-held ambitions to become a separate entity, that agreement will now end, with multi-territory online rights transferred from MCPS to IMPEL over the coming weeks.

From that point onwards, IMPEL will be a standalone collection society owned by its members, regardless of whether they are based in the U.K. or internationally, and be subject to same requirements of transparency and efficiency as its European Union competitors.

IMPEL says that the new structure will give publishers greater flexibility by allowing them to take part in other licenses outside of those currently offered. The transition process is planned to be fully completed by April 2018.

“It is no secret that IMPEL has aspirations towards the success of Merlin and this is the next step on that mission,” said the organization’s chairman Simon Platz. He went on to call the collective “a group of publishers totally wedded to independence and totally wedded to being stronger together.”

Jane Dyball, CEO of the MPA Group of Companies added, “In a highly competitive market there is a group of independent music publishers who are firmly committed to sticking together to improve their position in the digital landscape, and to provide a nimble and adaptable service to their members.”