Music Licensing: CMRRA & SoundExchange
Music Licensing: CMRRA & SoundExchange

Post-Acquisition, CMRRA Sets New Board

The Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights agency (CMRRA) has issued an update about Monday’s announcement that it has been acquired by American non-profit digital performance rights collection org, SoundExchange (see the separate story posted May 15).

The statement, posted on its website late Tuesday, in full reads:

(On Tuesday), SoundExchange announced its acquisition of CMRRA and its plan to team up to create an organization that has the potential to offer incredible opportunities to the entire music industry. This marks a very important milestone in CMRRA’s history and I’m delighted to share this news with you.

CMRRA is Canada’s leading reproduction rights licensing collective representing the vast majority of music publishers and copyright owners doing business in Canada. CMRRA embarked on a process nearly a year ago to identify potential partnerships that could foster our growth in new markets, broaden our scope of services and help us achieve greater economies of scale. With this acquisition, we can now look to the future knowing that we are well positioned to continue to maximize the value of the reproduction right in Canada and meet your need for quality service and low service fees.

CMRRA and SoundExchange will continue to work independently and serve their respective customers while also searching for collaborative opportunities, such as sharing core services. CMRRA is owned by SXWorks, a new subsidiary in SoundExchange’s corporate structure that is focused on providing administration services to the music publishing sector. The board of directors of SXWorks will include five music publishers and six SoundExchange executives, including SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe who will lead SXWorks as Chairman.

Very importantly, we have established a Canadian Publishers Committee (“CPC”) to provide direction on central issues impacting music publishers’ business in Canada. The CPC will exercise considerable discretion and autonomy on Canadian advocacy, tariff and rate-setting activities, and will continue to foster and leverage the favourable environment in which CMRRA has attained some of the highest online royalty rates in the world.

SoundExchange and CMRRA each have proven expertise in their respective fields with a keen focus on digital music. We believe there are key areas of collaboration and development that will increase efficiency to benefit the entire music industry, such as aligning our comprehensive databases of sound recording and musical work information as well as our technical infrastructure and business process initiatives. This efficiency, in turn, will increase the speed of royalty collection and distribution to our music publisher clients, and keep our administrative fees to a minimum.

While the details of the transaction are confidential, SoundExchange committed, as part of the acquisition, to work with CMRRA to significantly reduce CMRRA’s administration fees in the next year across all licensing activities and for all CMRRA represented publishers. We will provide additional information in this regard starting with our next scheduled royalty distribution in June.

This is a most exciting time for us at CMRRA and we hope you will share our enthusiasm about the realm of possibilities that are before us. CMRRA has always worked for the interest and benefit of its music publisher clients and this focus will continue unabated. We look forward to a bright future under the SXWorks umbrella. We are eager to continue to work with you to expand our services and meet your needs in this ever-evolving marketplace. 

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.


Caroline Rioux, CMRRA President

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