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EMI Pulls Digital Rights From ASCAP In Radical Plan To Streamline Licensing

image from In a radical shift, EMI Music Publishing today announced that it is taking back the responsibility for licensing digital rights in North American from ASCAP. The performance rights society will continue to license EMI’s performance rights for traditional media services, including television and radio stations. 

As digital music innovation has picked up pace, bundled rights and one stop licencing has become the mantra of music tech startups and academics.  But until today, no major player had taken real steps to make streamlined licensing a reality.

For EMI, the change is designed to streamline the performance rights licensing process for its EMI April Music catalog to for audio streams, streaming video, cloud music and other similar services. April Music is one of EMI's two largest catalogs, featuring almost 200,000 songs. Now, they can easily license many digital services whether they need a mechanical license, a synchronization license, a performance license or all three.

Without ASCAP taking a cut, EMI Music Publishing could also see a net revenue increase. 

“The digital world demands a new way of licensing rights in musical compositions,” said EMI Music Publishing Chairman & CEO Roger Faxon in a statement. “We are reunifying the rights in many of the songs that we represent. By bringing these rights back together our aim is to reduce the burden of licensing, to create greater efficiency and importantly to reduce the barriers to the development of innovative new services. That absolutely has to be in the interest of everybody involved in the process - songwriters, licensees and consumers alike."