IMPEL and IMPF agree ground-breaking digital Charter of Co-operation
Charter provides architecture for ‘fairer deal in the digital marketplace’ for music publishers and songwriters
IMPEL Collective Management (IMPEL) and the Independent Music Publishers International Forum (IMPF) have agreed a ground-breaking Charter of Co-operation to share experiences and best practices in the digital music marketplace. Their shared goal is to drive streamlining and innovation in digital licensing, as well as increased choice, flexibility, and transparency for independent publishers and their songwriters.
The Charter provides the architecture for an assertive and meaningful voice for independent music publishers. Combining IMPEL’s expertise in the digital market and IMPF’s lobbying and campaigning skills not only enables independent music publishers to compete with their major counterparts in the digital music ecosystem, but also amplifies the unique space that the independents are claiming within it.
Actions under the Charter include carrying out practical research projects of common interest, the exchange of knowledge and best practise (within the boundaries of commercial confidentiality and competition law), and any other initiatives of mutual interest.
A working group of members of both organisations is shaping the agenda for this historic co-operation and are collaborating in such a way that maintains the core mission of each while deploying their own skills and resources.
To cement their vision, IMPEL and IMPF have developed a set of 10 beliefs and principles to afford independent publishers and songwriters their rightful place within the digital music ecosystem, and to be fairly and properly compensated for their unique and vital contribution to the modern music business. These principles build progressively on IMPALA’s recent 10 Point Plan to Make Streaming Work, which is warmly welcomed by both IMPEL and IMPF.
These 10 guiding principles are:
1. Music is not fungible; It is unique.
2. Independent music publishers are the creative and economic stewards of songs, and developers of songwriters in the earliest stages of their professional careers. They are indispensable to the music ecosystem and, therefore, to streaming services.
3. The value of a publisher’s repertoire should be measured by its contribution to a digital platforms’ success.
4. What publishers do is not quantifiable by market share alone; in a world of personalised playlists, recommendations and programming strategies, songs hold a higher value as the conduit to the user.
5. Value should be attributed to the way songs resonate with listeners, reduce churn and attract advertisers and brands.
6. Commercial licensing models should suit both the platform and the rightsholders.
7. Digital services should provide publishers with the information needed to achieve a fair bargain.
8. Collaboration with digital services is essential for a common and better understanding of the real and measurable value that songs bring, and to create innovative ways to elevate the song and the art of songwriting on streaming services.
9 Together, we need to focus on a vision of operational excellence.
10. Ultimately, streaming services should be contributing more revenue to songwriters and publishers.
IMPEL and IMPF both believe that real progress will only come from concrete, energetic action from the music community. Acceptance of slow incremental growth over time is insufficient.
“This is a moment for the independents to really roll up our sleeves and get to work. We have a lot to offer the digital services but we believe that they have a lot more to offer us. Engagement and proactivity are key here.” Simon Platz, Chair of IMPEL and Managing Director of Bucks Music Group
“The more likeminded organisations can work together the better we can serve our constituents. Strengthening the collaboration between IMPF and IMPEL is part of the process to bring about better remuneration for the songwriters, composers and music publishers we represent.” Annette Barrett, President of IMPF and Managing Director & Global Strategic Liaison at Reservoir Media
Much needs to be done to get songwriters and music publishers a better, fairer deal in the digital market. Working together we can achieve more.” Ender Atis, IMPF Board of Directors and COO Budde Music
“We as independents are stronger together by sharing our collective perspectives rather than operating solely for the benefit of one’s own organization. By looking at the big picture, we can tackle larger issues that can be addressed globally by regional experts, which, in turn, may have greater results.” Mary Jo Mennella, IMPEL and IMPF Board of Directors and CEO Music Asset Management
An international collective licensing agency representing digital publishing rights, IMPEL is 100% owned and controlled by its members, which include respected independent publishers such as Bucks Music Group, Beggars Music, Reservoir Music, Kassner Music, CTM, ABKCO, Truelove Music, Mute Song, Faber Music and Reach Music.
IMPF is the global network for independent music publishers. IMPF represents the interests of indie music publishers internationally, shares experiences and best practices, exchanges information on the copyright and legal framework in different territories and jurisdictions, and helps stimulate a more favourable environment for artistic, cultural and commercial diversity for songwriters, composers and publishers everywhere.