image of Solar logo

Sony/ATV, PRS for Music and GEMA launch joint venture

image of Solar Group logos

New one-stop European licensing shop harnesses Sony/ATV and EMI publishing catalogues

Sony/ATV Music Publishing, UK collection society PRS for Music and German society GEMA have today announced that they have entered into a new agreement to administer licences for Sony/ATV’s pan-European digital rights for AngloAmerican repertoire. The move builds on the success of current licensing vehicles CELAS and PAECOL to provide a one-stop shop for licensees wishing to access both repertoires, which include some of the world’s most iconic songwriters and composers.

The joint venture called SOLAR will administer a single new licence to cover the exploitation of the combined Anglo-American catalogues of Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing. SOLAR will provide administration services for online and mobile licensing across Europe and other regions.

The new arrangements will replace existing solutions where Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing’s respective Anglo-American catalogues have been subject to separate arrangements for pan-European digital exploitation. To date, the digital licensing of Sony/ATV’s AngloAmerican catalogue has been managed by PAECOL, a subsidiary of GEMA, and the digital licensing of the EMI Music Publishing Anglo-American catalogue has been managed by CELAS, a joint venture between PRS for Music and GEMA.

The launch of SOLAR follows the 2012 acquisition of EMI Music Publishing led by Sony Corporation of America, which brought the Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing catalogues together. This consolidated offering ensures that licensees have easy access to both repertoires.

Martin Bandier, Chairman and CEO, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, said: "This agreement not only builds on our already successful relationships with PRS for Music and GEMA, but makes the licensing process in Europe more straight-forward as services will now have only one place to go for both Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing repertoire. It is also great news for our songwriters as we look to continue to facilitate licensing in this rapidly-evolving and expanding sector."

Sony/ATV EVP Digital & Society Relations Antony Bebawi said: "We're delighted to be continuing our already strong partnership with GEMA and PRS for Music. They are two societies with which we share a strong belief in and commitment to providing the highest level of administration to support the pan-European licensing of digital services and to deliver improved services to our songwriters."

PRS for Music Chief Executive Robert Ashcroft said: "We're delighted to launch this new onestop licensing shop, and further support the pioneering development of Sony/ATV and EMI Publishing’s online business in Europe. This agreement is a vote of confidence for the Hubs strategy and consolidation activities that we and GEMA are close to launching with our partner STIM. SOLAR will ensure licensees have easier access to this exceptional combined repertoire."

Dr. Harald Heker, Chairman of GEMA’s Executive Board, said: "GEMA has accompanied the licensing and administration of both catalogues – Sony in PAECOL and EMI in CELAS – since the year 2007. We are proud to continue this path with Sony and EMI in SOLAR, together with our partner PRS. Our focus in SOLAR will remain to strive for excellence in the field of administration to the benefit of all authors."

Alexander Wolf, Executive Managing Director, SOLAR Music Rights Management, said: "We feel privileged to continue our long cooperation with Sony and EMI Publishing by combining the administration of both publishing catalogues in SOLAR Ltd. We look forward to a fruitful relationship in the challenging years to come."

CELAS and PAECOL pioneered pan-European digital licensing, allowing music services to license rights throughout Europe rather than having to make arrangements on a territory-by-territory basis. The launch of SOLAR will make this process even more efficient for licensees.

Bebawi said: "As well as delivering improved services to our songwriters, licensees will now benefit from the increased efficiency by offering one license and one administration process where there were previously two. This will further simplify the licensing landscape and further increase the efficiency in the market."

Sony/ATV presently has pan-European deals with a large number of services including Amazon, Deezer, Google, iTunes and Spotify.

About Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Sony/ATV Music Publishing, established in 1995 as a joint venture between Sony and Michael Jackson, is the world’s leading music publisher. Together with EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV owns or administers around 3 million copyrights including those from such iconic music catalogs like Leiber & Stoller, Mijac Music, Motown and Famous Music. Sony/ATV also controls many of the best known songs ever written like “New York, New York,” “Hallelujah,” “All You Need Is Love,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Moon River,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “The Mission Impossible Theme,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Over the Rainbow,” “Stand By Me,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Singin’ in the Rain.” In addition, Sony/ATV represents the copyrights of such legendary artists as The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Carole King, Kraftwerk, Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Richie Sambora, Sting, The Supremes, Wyclef Jean, Hank Williams and Stevie Wonder, among others. Its ever-growing list of chart-topping artists, writers and producers includes Akon, Avicii, Calvin Harris, Jessie J, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, John Mayer, P!nk, RedOne, Shakira, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Stargate, Taylor Swift, Kanye West and Pharrell Williams.

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of 100,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK and millions worldwide. As a membership organisation it ensures creators are paid whenever their music is played, performed or reproduced, championing the importance of copyright to protect and support the UK music industry. The UK has a proud tradition of creating wonderful music that is enjoyed the world over and PRS for Music has been supporting the creators of that music since 1914.

PRS for Music provides business and community groups with easy access to over 10m songs through its music licences. In an industry worth over £3.5bn PRS for Music is uniquely placed to be a voice for music and music creators. Collecting £665.7m in 2013, PRS for Music is one of the world’s most efficient combined rights organisations. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music’s network represents over two million music creators.

About GEMA

GEMA represents the copyrights of more than 67,000 members (composers, lyricists, and music publishers) in Germany, as well as those of over two million copyright holders all over the world. As one of the largest authors' associations for works of music, GEMA is working on an international level to further develop copyright protection.

With longtime experience and knowledge GEMA meets the challenge of accelerating technology change. By tapping into a strong network of partner organisations throughout the world GEMA creates solutions that benefit all parties. Not only is this in the interest of the authors of music, it is the best way to capitalise on the growing use of music online – thus safeguarding the existence of musicians and music authors everywhere. Today and in times to come.

Contacts: