Veteran artist manager Irving Azoff’s new music publishing venture Global Music Rights, (a division of Azoff MSG Entertainment) may not sit well with radio as it is seeking to change the landscape for songwriters in the 2 Billion dollar Performing Rights arena currently dominated by ASCAP and BMI (95%). Writers have been frustrated with the antiquated regulatory agreements via the Justice Department that puts limits on their ability to negotiate higher payments. “I vowed when I started this company that I was going to take care of artists. So I tried to identify places where I felt that artists were not getting a fair deal and the performance rights area jumped out at me. It was a place where I felt I could help our writers.” Azoff stated
Azoff is currently controlling the catalogs of performers/groups like Journey, Foreigner, Pharrrell Williams, Shane McAnnaly and the estate of John Lennon amongst others. The Madison Square Garden Company is backing the venture with Azoff contributing $175 million. Global Music Rights will not be subject to antiquated regulations of ASCAP and BMI which will allow the company to negotiate for higher payments. Azoff will demand higher payments from radio as well as online music service companies.