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Hipgnosis Songs signs global administration agreements with Sacem and peermusic

Hipgnosis Songs Fund (SONG) has announced that it and its Investment Adviser, Hipgnosis Song Management Limited have agreed what it describes as “ground-breaking digital administration and sub-publishing partnerships” with the Society of authors, composers and publishers of music (Sacem) and peermusic. Along with Hipgnosis Songs Group (HSG), SONG claims that their new partners will provide a modern, global network for the collection of song royalties for Hipgnosis.

The new agreements

Hipgnosis has entered into a direct administration partnership with Sacem, which it describes as one of the world’s leading Collective Management Organisations (CMO), to collect digital rights for the writers’ share and Hipgnosis’ own publisher share, primarily in the UK and the European Union. In addition, Hipgnosis has entered into a sub-publishing partnership with peermusic to collect publishing rights and other royalties in the rest of the world excluding the US. Hipgnosis will continue to use HSG for royalty collection in the United States.

SONG says that, together these partnerships eliminate a link in the royalty collection process, which is expected to materially reduce third party administration and collection fees, the length of time it takes to collect digital revenues and to expand SONG’s global publishing and synch footprint. Hipgnosis will initially revert 36 Catalogues to these new partnerships, including Neil Young, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chrissie Hynde and Jack Antonoff. Additional Catalogue administrations will be transferred to these partners, where appropriate, as their administration rights revert.

Who is Sacem?

Sacem is a Paris based, non-profit non-trading entity owned and managed by its members according to the business model of a cooperative. To guarantee authors’ intellectual property rights over their works, Sacem collects and distributes royalties, thereby playing a crucial economic role to preserve musical creation.

Sacem is already mandated to collect royalties on digital usages by some of the largest companies (publishers and CMOs) in the sector on a multi territorial basis and their approach on using technology to revolutionise the Collective Management system made them a natural partner for Hipgnosis.  Sacem is the oldest and most established CMO in the world.  Their combined approach of experience and tech innovation is the perfect combination to drive collections and revenue upwards.

Who are peermusic?

SONG describes peermusic as the world’s largest independent music publishing and neighbouring rights administration company, with a network of 38 offices in 31 countries. It comments that, since its establishment some 95 years ago, peermusic has distinguished itself by retaining the ethos of an independent and global family business that remains service-oriented while driving significant progress in a rapidly changing competitive market. Income collected for peermusic sub-publishing clients has doubled during the past 5 years.

Comments from Merck Mercuriadis, CEO and Founder of Hipgnosis Song Management

“These are ground-breaking, future thinking deals. Sacem will directly collect and pay digital rights for writers’ share, primarily in the UK and the EU, eliminating a link in the royalty collection process. This will materially reduce third party administration and collection fees and the length of time it takes to collect digital revenues.

“Combined with our new relationship with peermusic, and alongside our in-house expertise in HSG, this provides us with global coverage from best in class operators with a focus on collecting more, collecting it faster and getting it paid through faster.

“We’ve had a long-standing admiration for both Ralph and Mary Megan Peer, who are the first family of music publishing, and Sacem has been elevated to a gold standard under Cecile Rap-Veber’s leadership. We very much look forward to welcoming them to the Hipgnosis family and working closely together.”

Comments from Amy Thomson, Chief Catalogue Officer of Hipgnosis Song Management

“It is important that the songs which come into our direct care move ever closer to the source of digital revenue. Transparency and data fuels our ability to remove the costs of middlemen and work on registration issues worldwide, increasing the revenue of our catalogues. By coming closer to the source with Sacem and expanding our publishing and synch footprint via peermusic all combined with HSG’s expertise in the US, the true agenda of totally transparent and optimum revenue takes a huge leap in the direction we promised.”

Comments from Cécile Rap-Veber, CEO, Sacem

“We are thrilled to partner with Hipgnosis. This partnership once again demonstrates Sacem’s ability to serve innovative players in the music market and increase the remuneration of works of major artists and to contribute to the preservation of these catalogues.

“Hipgnosis will benefit from Sacem’s negotiation with multi territorial DSPs, and technological expertise, especially in the field of data management with its innovative URights platform, which will give Hipgnosis full visibility, in real time, on the revenues generated by its catalogues. Our goal is always to add value to music by leveraging the transformations in consumption and distribution modes, in order to contribute to the vitality of creation and cultural diversity.”

Comments from Mary Megan Peer, CEO, peermusic

“We initially started this relationship through Big Deal Music (which Hipgnosis acquired in 2020) and have built a genuine connection from there. As the sub-publisher for Hipgnosis Songs Fund, peermusic will work to maximize synch opportunities for Hipgnosis clients in all local markets as well as provide them with the first-class administration for which peermusic is known. This deal allows us to help maximize local synch markets through our worldwide offices and administrative opportunities for Hipgnosis’ roster with business partners who share our ultimate goal to serve their music creators and maximize their earnings.”

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