-- With the major music companies about a year into their respective pan-European licensing initiative, PRS for Music has launched the Independent Music Publishers' European Licensing (IMPEL) initiative.

IMPEL will directly license Anglo-American online and mobile mechanical rights for publishers -- along with associated performing rights already represented by PRS for Music -- to a range of new and existing digital services.

Conexion Music, Fairwood Music (U.K.), Hornall Brothers Music, Kassner Associate Publishers, Music Sales, Proof Songs, Red Ink Music and Reverb Music have signed up, with a number of others understood to be lined up to join the collective shortly.

"Pan-European online licensing can be complex and a potentially time-consuming issue for independent publishers," said Stuart Hornall of Hornall Brothers Music. "By acting collectively through IMPEL we can reduce the administrative burden on music users and licensees and ensure we get paid more accurately and sooner than if we'd gone through the sub-publisher network."

While the initiative conforms to the European Commission cross-order recommendation on collective licensing by proving digital service providers on-stop shopping for the catalogs of these publishers, there are still tens of thousands of other publishers that still need to be licensed for each and every country in the EU.

-- The Kobalt Music Group claims it will take transparency on publishing revenues farther than its been taken before, with the soon-to-be launching of its Next Generation Portal 3.0 Digital.

The company says that its new system will make available detailed reports on what kind of sales activity took place -- and where -- place around the world. A songwriter will be able look up a song and see how much activity occurred at each account on a dollar-by-dollar basis. For example, one window could show revenue from iTunes on a country-by-country basis. The system can also show royalties based on different types of business activity and check on the status of individual synch licenses.

"We are opening another black box for the industry and taking transparency to the next level, deeper into different royalty streams," said Kobalt CEO and founder Willard Ahdritz.