SESAC Holdings and SUISA Launch Mint Digital Licensing The First Transatlantic Rights Management Organization for Online Music Licensing

Swiss collecting society SUISA and US music rights organization SESAC Holdings are forming Mint Digital Licensing, the first transatlantic alliance between organizations that represent musical works on behalf of music publishers, songwriters and composers. Starting in January 2017, the two companies will work closely together to license and administer the rights to use musical compositions in online music services under a joint venture. The collaboration aims to strengthen the competitive position and value of the music entrusted to SUISA and SESAC Performing Rights by copyright owners in the international online music market.

Andreas Wegelin, Generaldirektor der SUISA (links) und John Josephson, Vorsitzender und CEO der SESAC Holding (rechts) 

Foto: Hannah McKay

New York/Zürich, August 3rd, 2016 – Mint Digital Licensing will offer digital music services single source licenses for reproduction, distribution and performance rights for both SUISA’s and SESAC Performing Rights’ repertoires as well as the repertoires of music publishers seeking to license their catalogs across Europe and beyond. It intends to provide licenses to online service providers such as YouTube, Apple, Spotify and others as well as administer licenses negotiated directly between music publishers and digital music services.

The integration of SUISA’s and SESAC Holdings’ expertise, data assets and technology allows a variety of improvements in multi-territorial licensing:

›    Increased Song Matching: Continuous matching improvements and increased matching rates ensure that rights holders will be identified and properly paid in a timely manner.

›    Greater Transparency: Easy access for rights holders to review and manage their catalogs, licenses and royalty reports.

›    Faster Payment and Reporting: Substantially reduced file processing times will allow for even faster usage processing and royalty payment to copyright owners.

The joint venture’s database will include approximately 11.5 million documented works by SESAC Holdings and 4.5 million by SUISA, over 21 million sound recordings pre-linked to musical compositions by SESAC Holdings and 4 million by SUISA and over 60 million sound recordings by SESAC Holdings and 36 million by SUISA, which will form the basis of Mint Digital Licensing’s offerings.

John Josephson, Chairman and CEO of SESAC Holdings said, “Mint Digital Licensing represents the first step in SESAC Holdings’ plan to build a multi-regional licensing platform at scale. The key to our success will be an unrelenting focus on our customer’s needs, access to the most comprehensive and accurate data available in the market and a best of breed technology solution. Like SESAC, SUISA is a leader in technology as well as a dependable and experienced partner. Together, we will significantly improve online licensing for creators, copy-right owners and DSPs.”

Andreas Wegelin, SUISA CEO, added, “This partnership allows SUISA to expand its position in the online arena and remain autonomous in the long term in this competitive market. Furthermore, we will benefit from significant economies of scale in terms of data and IT infrastructure. In recent years, SUISA has invested heavily in updating its IT infrastructure to be better positioned for the challenges of copyright licensing for the distribution of online music.”

SUISA and SESAC believe the cooperation, combination of data and pooling of repertoires embodied by the joint venture is consistent with the European Commission’s expressed wish for cooperation among music rights organizations to enable users to negotiate licenses with as few companies as possible. This new, multi-territorial platform will maximize efficiency for music users, music publishers, songwriters, composers and other rights owners while vastly improving transactional transparency.


HoldingsSESAC Holdings is a U.S.-based Music Rights Organization that administers public performance, mechanical, synchronization and other rights. SESAC’s performing rights subsidiary is the second oldest and most progressive performance right organization in the U.S. The acquisition of The Harry Fox Agency (HFA) accelerated the transition to a “multi-rights” (performance, mechanical, and synch) organization, which provides licensing, administration, and royalty services related to the use of musical compositions in broadcasts, online and in recorded media. SESAC Holdings business have been entrusted with the copyrights of internationally successful authors and artists, including Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Green Day, Mariah Carey and Lady Antebellum. SESAC performing right’s roster of film composers includes Christophe Beck, Randy Newman, Danny Lux, Jon Ehrlich, Dennis C. Brown and Bruce Miller. SESAC Performing Rights also represents the music rights for television shows including House of Cards, Grey’s Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, Parenthood, Dateline NBC, Dr. Phil, Seinfeld and The Doctors.


SUISA is the cooperative society for composers, lyricists and music publishers in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Its members include more than 35,000 authors and publishers of all musical fields. In Switzerland and Liechtenstein, SUISA represents the repertoire of two million authors worldwide. It issues usage licenses for this world repertoire to more than 90,000 clients. In 2015, SUISA’s 200 staff in offices in Zurich, Lausanne and Lugano generated revenues in excess of CHF 150 million. As a not-for-profit organization, SUISA distributes the licensing proceeds, after administrative costs, to its authors and publishers. Its members also include internationally famous composers and lyricists such as Charles Aznavour, Jacques Revaux (“My Way”) and Andreas Vollenweider.

Über die SUISA

Die SUISA ist die Genossenschaft der Komponisten, Textautoren und Musikverleger der Schweiz und Liechtensteins. Zu ihren Mitgliedern zählen über 35‘000 Urheber und Verleger aller Musiksparten. In der Schweiz und in Liechtenstein vertritt die SUISA das Repertoire von weltweit zwei Millionen Musikurhebern. Sie erteilt Lizenzen für die Nutzung dieses Weltrepertoires an über 90‘000 Kunden. Mit 200 Mitarbeitern an den Standorten Zürich, Lausanne und Lugano erzielte die SUISA 2015 einen Umsatz von über 150 Millionen Franken. Als nicht gewinnorientierte Organisation verteilt sie die Einnahmen aus den Lizenzen nach Abzug der Verwaltungskosten an die Musikurheber und Musikverleger. Zu ihren Mitgliedern gehören auch international bekannte Komponisten und Textautoren wie Charles Aznavour, Jacques Revaux (My Way“) und Andreas Vollenweider.

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