What is IMPEL?

IMPEL Collective Management Limited is a UK-registered company limited by guarantee. This means it is owned by its members but the liability of those members for the company is limited to amount of their guarantee of £1. IMPEL’S function is to license and administer the digital rights of its members’ repertoire for online activities on a multi-territory basis.

Does IMPEL license all digital rights?

No. IMPEL licenses the digital mechanical rights of its members. Sometimes additional rights are required for particular licences (for example, non-exclusive lyric rights which are required for karaoke apps) in which case members are asked for their approval to include these rights in such licences. IMPEL does not directly license the digital performing right in its members’ repertoire. This is licensed through a mechanism involving agreement between the network of Anglo-American performing rights organisations (“PROs”).

Which services does IMPEL license?

IMPEL licenses all of the major streaming and download services as well as smaller and more diverse digital services. For example, it licenses karaoke and educational services and inflight music streaming services.

Who can become a member of IMPEL?

Any independent music publisher can join IMPEL provided that they own and/or control an annual share of the global market of less than 5%, and provide all of the necessary documentation and data to enable IMPEL to license its works. However, the IMPEL Board can refuse membership to a publisher who would otherwise qualify if (a) the Board reasonably believes for objectively justifiable reasons that the publisher’s membership would be or is incompatible with the achievement of IMPEL’S objectives or (b) such publisher hasn’t supplied all of the necessary documentation. Conversely, the Board has the power to accept for membership a publisher who doesn’t otherwise fulfil the criteria if it feels that it is in IMPEL’s interests to do so.

Does IMPEL charge a membership fee or subscription?

No. IMPEL members just pay a standard commission on the licensing royalties and fees that we generate. IMPEL exists to serve its publisher members so the organisation only makes as much money as it needs to run itself efficiently and effectively.

What territory does the IMPEL membership agreement cover?

The core territory covered by the membership agreement is the European Economic Area (including Switzerland). However, with individual members’ consent, IMPEL can license for a wider territory. For example, for YouTube, IMPEL licences across EEA, Switzerland, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa and India. For Apple Music and Spotify it licences EEA and the MENA. region

IMPEL also offers its members the option to join various licensing hubs that we are establishing and/or allied to globally, outside the EEA. For example, in Latin America, members have the option, via IMPEL, to license nearly all of the Latin American countries through the Latinautor One Stop Shop.

Who administers IMPEL’s licences?

SACEM is IMPEL’s administration partner for its core pan-European deals. In consultation with IMPEL’s management team, SACEM handles the registration, claiming, accounting and payment processes. In Latin America, these functions are carried out by Latinautor and Back Office.

What functions does IMPEL carry out?

IMPEL is a strategic partner for its members in the digital market. It is responsible for negotiating licences with DSPs and overseeing licensing negotiations where this is carried out by partners. It handles all member relations and mandates, and manages the relationships with its service partners and clients to obtain the best service possible for its members. IMPEL works closely with its partners providing tracking analysis and operational services to ensure its members repertoire is protected. A key part of its function is to facilitate communications with and between members about the service, the licences and the digital landscape generally. This enables IMPEL members to have more information, engagement and control than they would do through other digital CMOs.

How is IMPEL governed?

IMPEL’s internal governance, which has close co-operation with IMPEL’s management team, is comprised of its Board, Licensing Committee, Operations Groups and other working groups. This ensures that members have the opportunity to be fully engaged in IMPEL’s activities. Those that are not part of the governance process are kept update with newsletters, licensing and operations bulletins and other business reviews and workshops. Representativeness and transparency are at the heart of our organisation.

How do IMPEL members get paid?

IMPEL members get paid directly by our service partners. Distributions are made six months after the end of the exploitation period. So 1Q20 usage will be distributed to the IMPEL members in October 2020.