Universal, Sony BMG ink licensing deal


MUMBAI: Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) and Sony BMG Music Entertainment have reached a digital licensing agreement designed to facilitate the growth of the legitimate digital market place across the Asian region (excluding Japan and Korea where deals are already in place).


Among the offerings incorporated under the arrangement are online products, including audio and video downloads, streaming and subscription services; mobile products including master ring tones, ringback tones, full track downloads and mobile video.


The new agreement, which will streamline licensing arrangements for the use of music and music video, is designed to speed the development of the legitimate online and mobile markets, and to ensure that rights holders, including artists, songwriters, record companies, music publishers, and collection societies will benefit from Asia’s position as a leader in developing new models for music on digital devices. The arrangement creates a new precedent in India where for the first time record companies have agreed to pay mechanical royalties to songwriters and publishers on the sale of records.


“UMPG is pleased to be facilitating the legitimate digital licensing of our repertoire in SE Asia and developing new revenue streams for our songwriters in that region,” said Universal Music Publishing Group chairman & CEO David Renzer.


“This multi-lateral deal should enable the legitimate digital business in the region to operate with certainty. Through the combined efforts of UMPG and Sony BMG, and our common line of action with this agreement, we are providing a digital model for the whole industry to adopt,” added Universal Music Publishing Group executive vice president Andrew Jenkins.


Sony BMG Music Entertainment president, Asian Region Kelvin Wadsworth commented, “The conclusion of this agreement provides new possibilities for Sony BMG and Universal Music Publishing Group, alongside other like minded societies and companies, to ignite a dynamic digital business with our respective partners in the region. The future of the music business requires simplification, immediacy and effectiveness and this deal leads the way on every count. We are pleased to be able to work with Universal Music Publishing Group to create these new possibilities.”


Sony BMG senior vice president of digital and new business development in Asia Ruuben van den Heuvel added, “Streamlining the digital licensing process in Asia provides an amazing impetus for our respective Digital Partners to maximize the sales of not only local, but also International music in the region. For many years Digital Music resellers have been challenged with licensing content from a myriad of content owners and similarly challenged in effectively reporting sales in return. We expect to see a significant increase in our respective businesses as content flows to our partners and consumers are able to find their favorite artists and discover new music to get excited about.”


Universal Music Publishing Group and Sony BMG will work together with the performing rights society in each territory to implement this agreement for the benefit of authors, artists and other rights owners, digital service providers and consumers alike. This historic deal between two major rights holders will provide clarity regarding licensing procedure in many countries of the region for the first time, and will support the efforts of those organizations who want to provide legitimate digital music services. Universal Music Publishing Group and Sony BMG Music Entertainment invite all the relevant performing rights societies to join in their efforts to provide simple but effective licensing models throughout the region.