PROs Launch MusicMark

Performance rights organizations ASCAP, BMI and SOCAN have launched MusicMark, a unique collaboration designed to simplify copyrights and ease registration for songwriters and publishers.

Under MusicMark, the PROs will share resources, including staff and business tools, but the collaboration is not a formal joint venture. Members will be able to register songs – even those co-written by writers repped by different PROs – through a single interface.

Data will then be sent to all three societies participating in the partnership. SESAC, another major PRO, is not involved with the project. Publishers now must use several different programs to register works, particularly thanks to the growing use of multiple co-writers on a single song, often involving multiple publishing companies.

MusicMark is a response to requests by publishers for a more efficient way to register music, according to a memo sent March 31 to employees with the three PROs and reported by the Tennessean.

The collaboration represents cooperation between rival nonprofits BMI and ASCAP, which combined process the vast majority of royalty payments for songwriters and publishers.

“I think it’s fantastic,” independent publisher Chris Keaton told the Tennessean. “It will help writers and publishers, and it will also help people looking for material from those writers. I think the spirit of cooperation that ASCAP, BMI and SOCAN are showing is nothing but good for the industry.

“The music economy is completely different than it’s ever been, and it’s a struggle for writers in particular to make a living. I think something like this is advantageous and helpful.”