DiMA CEO Chris Harrison Exits Trade Group After Helping Get the Music Modernization Act Passed

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After successfully helping to shepherd the Music Modernization Act into law, it looks like the senior management of the Digital Media Assn. (DiMA) is out the door. According to an advert on LinkedIn, the trade group is looking for a new CEO.

DiMA CEO Chris Harrison, who has led the organization since April 2017, confirmed to Billboard that he has left the trade group that represents on-demand music services like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Google/YouTube, Napster and Pandora.

Without the DiMA members and its leadership, the MMA -- the most significant revision to U.S. copyright law in decades -- wouldn't have happened, because it required the copyright owners and the services to compromise in order for the legislation to come together.

Harrison confirmed his departure in a statement given to Billboard. “During my tenure [at DiMA, I] was able to accomplish some amazing things, including the first music copyright reform legislation in a generation,” Harrison said in the statement. “By fixing a broken music licensing regime, the Music Modernization Act will encourage new and innovative consumer experiences, empower creators to engage with fans and generate revenue for copyright owners. As the lead negotiator for digital music services, the passage of the MMA was a tremendous professional achievement. After obtaining this milestone, however, I concluded it was time to move on and find a new challenge.”

While he plans on exploring other opportunities in the music industry, in the meantime Harrison is advising The Final Step, which he describes as an “impact sourcing” service provider that delivers business process outsourcing services by hiring persons with disabilities in Africa.”

Prior to joining DiMA, Harrison was a key executive at Sirius and Pandora, and before that at background music service, DMX. He was also included on Billboard's 2018 Top Music Lawyers list, in part for his work on the MMA, which he said "brought the mechanical-licensing regime into the digital era. We just need to recognize that we can get more done by working together than by fighting with each other.”

According to the LinkedIn ad, the qualifications to apply for DiMA CEO include experience with all three branches of government and familiarity with the music and media industries and the laws impacting them.