India’s IPRS launches new portal designed by SOCAN’s Dataclef

The Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) has launched its new members’s portal IPRS 2.0, designed by Dataclef, an affiliate of Canada’s rights society SOCAN. The portal is designed to ensure that IPRS members will be able “to engage more and earn better in this rapidly evolving digitally-engaged world,” according to the Mumbai-based society.

The Dataclef-designed portal is expected to significantly improve IPRS’s royalty administration and distribution infrastructure. Through this association, IPRS said it aimed “to empower its members and provide transparency to writers, publishers and composers on payments and other related information bringing in greater transparency and interactivity.”

“We are collaboratively working with IPRS to design a more robust platform from which members can transparently and easily access data, aligning to the vision defined by IPRS. It is great to see a society actively investing in its staff and infrastructure to ultimately empower its members,” said Jeff King, CEO of Dataclef, who added, “India is an expanding market with great potential for the music industry, it is essential that this growth continues to be supported by a strong collective society.”

Bring greater transparency

IPRS 2.0 will provide state-of-the-art license administration and intelligent royalty tracking. It will incorporate the management of the deals with digital platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Spotify, Amazon Music, and ALTBalaji. “With these deals in place, author, composer and publisher members of IPRS now have access to a new revenue stream should their compositions be used on any of these platforms,” said IPRS.

Javed Akhtar, Chairman of 50-year-old IPRS (pictured, below), said IPRS 2.0 is “a momentous step forward in keeping pace with the changing times.” He said: Our focus is clear and two-fold, on one hand we want to bring in greater transparency and on the other, we want to leave no stone unturned and leverage every opportunity to ensure our members are able to reap all benefits possible of their hard work and creative acumen. Our aim to create a more engaged eco-system where we continue to grow and flourish as a community driven by our shared passion and drive.”

Achille Forler, former MD of Universal Music Publishing India, and adviser to IPRS, said the project was completed after two years of work and was “the most ambitious technology project in the history of any Asian Copyright Society.” He added that the front portal will be be launched soon and that the next phase, which will be delivered next year, will include distribution components for cue-sheets and foreign income.

For IPRS CEO Rakesh Nigam the new portal will “bring in a high level of transparency into our operations where our members can view and check their repertoire at their own convenience. This will help eradicate obvious errors that occur due to wrong IPs, duplicate submissions, etc.”

Build authoritative database

Mandar Thakur, the COO of Times Music, a division of media company The Times of India Group, and a board member of IPRS, told Creative Industries Newsletter that IPRS 2.0 was “a major upgrade of its operating system and services.” He added: “With IPRS’s authoritative database of close to a million musical works and unlimited scalable processing capacity, the new system will provide the best-in-class monetisation capacity for the Society’s members. It will also allow international publishers and societies, with multiple authors, to register their works as per the global standards and processes followed by societies across the globe.”

Thakur said the new system will bring several new benefits:

> Sort out the characters/languages used to enter songs documentation. In India, creations are in multiple native languages, but data is represented in Anglo Saxon characters. The new technology “will enable Indian members to sort out complex usages of nomenclature in Indian words, surnames, names, film-names and song-names. Identifying duplications with the right grammatical corrections and intonation was very critical for the Indian market and the system allows that.”

> Dealing with high volume of data and transactions. IPRS’s collaboration with Dataclef “will drive efficiencies in data management enabling it to function as per the industry grades-equivalent to other international societies.”

> The member portal will allow the authors, composers and publisher to transfer from the earlier “back-office dependent” system to a “Self-Serve portal” enabling them to conveniently handle their personal information, access list of works, request modifications, submit new registrations, view a detailed royalty tracking and history of royalty payments.

> IPRS 2.0 also includes state-of-the-art license administration. With its scalable system, IPRS can accurately process quadrillion lines of metadata and claim royalties across all broadcast and digital platforms with greater efficiency.

> Improving IPRS’s royalty administration and distribution infrastructure.

Incorporate best practices

IPRS said the new developments are part of the on-going partnership with the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), the international trade body representing collective management organisations in the world, which had re-admitted IPRS as a member after the society made significant changes in governance and in processes. “CISAC has been working with IPRS to monitor, guide and help the society improve its operations and align it to global best practices in corporate governance, transparency, licensing, collections, and distribution of royalties,” said IPRS.

IPRS distributed royalties worth INR 64.5 Crores for Q2 2020 (€7.4 million) and has also initiated disbursement of relief funds, worth INR 3.46 Crores (€400,000), for its members impacted adversely by the pandemic. IPRS counts more than 5,000 authors, composers, and music publishers as its members.

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