National Music Publishers’ Assn.
POWER MOVE: Vital negotiations with digital power players that have turned the NMPA from a simple trade association into a publishing industry revenue generator.
THE RUNDOWN: What gives the president of a trade association power? A digital company that wants to launch a 15 million-song service would have the nearly impossible task of licensing tracks from every major and independent publisher unless it went through the NMPA. David Israelite is leading the NMPA into its digital future by changing what it means to lead a trade association.
“He’s kind of a rainmaker for our business,” says Songs Music Publishing CEO Matt Pincus, who lauds Israelite for both his political savvy and revenue generation. Cameron Strang (No. 36), chairman/CEO of Warner/Chappell and head of Warner Music Group’s West Coast operations, feels that Israelite is dialed into Capitol Hill and his understanding of issues facing publishing “is second to none.”
The NMPA does the traditional things every trade group does: lobbying the legislative and executive branches of the government; representing members in rate proceedings; protecting their copyright in the courts. Israelite says $50 million in court litigation has returned more than $503 million from settlements ranging from Limewire’s file-sharing operation to illegal lyric sites.
The association also plays an unusual and increasingly vital role by representing the publishing industry in business negotiations. Google, Apple, Amazon, YouTube and others have worked with the NMPA out of necessity. “It’s not only efficient — I don’t think they could do it without us,” Israelite says. Think of that the next time you click on a song purchase.
David Israelite photo by Matthew Rakola