Skip to main content

Sacem Finds Partner to Help Track Royalties for EDM Artists, Rights Holders

French authors' rights society Sacem has partnered with music identification company DJ Monitor to better improve accuracy in tracking royalties of electronic music played in nightclubs, live events…

French authors’ rights society Sacem has partnered with music identification company DJ Monitor to better improve accuracy in tracking royalties of electronic music played in nightclubs, live events and festivals.

DJ Monitor claims to be the global pioneer and market leader in music recognition tech and EDM rights monitoring and has a database of over 46 million tracks — ranging from trance to house to electropunk – to draw upon when tracking and reporting royalties.

The Amsterdam-based company uses advanced audio fingerprinting tech to identify music played by DJs in clubs, venues and festivals across Europe and already has similar deals in place with U.K. collection societies PRS for Music and PPL, as well asBuma/Stemra in the Netherlands and SABAM in Belgium.

Sacem says it chose to partner with DJ Monitor, which claims a 93 percent success rate in identifying songs, because of “its exceptional performance during a competitive pitch process” that was road tested in France’s leading nightclubs and festivals.

The deal follows a Sacem survey that highlighted some of the difficulties and unique challenges in identifying and distributing rights for EDM artists and rights holders. They included a general lack of understanding in the electronic music community about collective rights management practices and insufficient tracking mechanisms of works played in clubs or remixed as part of a DJ set.


Another issue highlighted in the study was that EDM tracks are often not included in the catalogues of rights management societies as few of them are registered by their creators. According to SACEM, France’s buoyant EDM industry is worth €416 million($490 million) a year, with over 70 percent (€295 million) of revenue being generated by clubs and discos and around 11 percent (€47 million) coming from festivals.

“For a specific part of our repertoire and artists this is a very important step forward that will enhance remuneration for electronic music artists who have historically struggled with identification and [rights] distribution,” SACEM CEO Jean-Noël Tronc tells Billboard.

He says that the first stage of the “breakthrough” DJ Monitor deal will see its tracking systems installed in a number of key EDM venues and around 10 festivals in France and will lead to more efficient distribution of royalties and maximize returns for its members.

It follows a deal earlier this year with tech giant IBM to use cloud and block chain technology to better identify online rights. 2017 has also seen Sacem partner with ASCAP and PRS for Music to prototype a new model of metadata recording (again in collaboration with IBM) to speed up licensing and royalty payments.

“We are delighted to be working with SACEM, an organization that shares our understanding of the industry’s need for innovative solutions to promote a sustainable future for electronic music,” said Yuri Dokter, CEO of DJ Monitor, in a statement announcing today’s deal.

The news comes on the heels of last week’s announcement that Sacem had ended its legal action against leading French film and television studio and distributor Canal Plus (owned by Universal Music parent company Vivendi) over the non-payment of royalties. In return for dropping its almost year-long legal action, Sacem and Canal Plus agreed a new global deal for the use of its members’ repertoire with a minimum term of two years.

“It’s one of the most important deals we’ve made in the past few years,” reflects Tronc, who says the “conflict had come to a point where the alternative was going into a full-scale war” with the broadcaster. He calls the global deal agreed by the two parties “the best possible solution for Sacem and our members” and a highly significant victory in defending the rights of creators.