In a significant and much-needed collaboration, the two leading performing rights organizations (PRO) in the U.S. — ASCAP and BMI — have teamed to launch a new data platform called Songview which provides a more transparent view of copyright ownership and administration shares for most of the music (both songs and other music compositions) licensed in the U.S.
Data used in Songview has been vetted by both PROs and will feature a green checkmark to indicate an “agreed-upon view of detailed, aggregated and reconciled ownership.” Between the two organizations, the database accounts for more than 20 million musical works and includes a breakdown of shares by ASCAP and BMI.
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In addition, users will be able to view information relating to songwriters and their affiliations, publishers, performers, alternate song titles, ISWC and IPI codes, BMI and ASCAP song IDs (if applicable) and publisher contact information. (Shares by PROs like SESAC and Global Music Rights will appear as “Other” on Songview or will reflect that the ASCAP and BMI shares don’t add up to 100%.)
“This project is all about providing greater transparency for everyone who relies on this copyright data to guide important business decisions,” said ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews in making the announcement. “When you see the Songview checkmark, you know that the data is consistent in both ASCAP and BMI’s copyright systems. Drawing upon our 185 years of combined ASCAP and BMI expertise in managing complex and dynamic copyright data, we have built a convenient new digital tool for anyone who licenses music. This release is our first iteration of Songview, and we are committed to enhancing this new platform as our industry evolves.”
Added BMI president and CEO Mike O’Neill: “When two companies that are fierce competitors come together on a project this ambitious to address a need identified by the marketplace, it says a lot about how important greater data transparency is to both of our organizations. Today’s launch is a good first step in the ongoing evolution of transparent and accessible data, and I am pleased with what we have accomplished so far to meet the evolving needs of the music industry. I look forward to continuing to expand on the possibilities of Songview in the future.”
Songview’s arrival is a welcome one for those in the industry who work with music licensing, specifically in the public performance space where permission to use or broadcast a musical work is required by law. Previously, those seeking clarity on PRO affiliation or share splits would have to search each organization’s repertoire separately.
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