NMPA boss on production music: ‘The licensing system is broken’


The National Music Publishers Association’s boss has criticised something in public. No, not Spotify this time. David Israelite has been casting his eye over the way publishing works with the production-music sector, and has found current processes wanting.

“We as an industry are bad at this. And what I’m going to say will probably piss some people off. But the value of our music is more important than the process by which we license it,” he told the Production Music Conference in LA. “The licensing system is broken. We’ve got to get our crap together.”

But Israelite also talked about less-than-ideal practices on the side of the companies licensing music for productions – particularly asking for compositional credits (and thus royalties).

“Your licensees are starting to take what I would call morally questionable positions with regard to their requests about what you must give them in order for them to use your music,” said Israelite, according to Billboard.

“Our best weapon against this type of practice is exposure. It’s public pressure on these companies that are basically asking creators to pretend that somehow the motion picture studio or the network had anything to do with the creative process and therefore deserves any of the downstream performance money…”

Stuart Dredge

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