SESAC Celebrates 80th Anniversary of Providing Service, Tradition and Innovation
(NASHVILLE, Tennessee) – SESAC, the fastest growing performing rights organization in the country, is celebrating its 80th anniversary of service, tradition, and innovation. With eight decades of impeccable service provided to songwriter and music publisher affiliates, SESAC is poised to continue as a leader in the protection of copyright owners’ rights as well as providing the highest level of services to the music user community and pioneering the use of new technologies for tracking airplay.
SESAC’s primary function is to license the musical works of the growing list of songwriters and music publishers it represents to various music user industries and to distribute those royalties to the copyright owners. SESAC today stands as the clear technological leader among the nation’s performing rights organizations, utilizing cutting-edge technologies to provide its affiliates with remarkable accuracy and consistency in performance detection over any medium, including the Internet.
In 1930, a visionary young musicologist and publisher named Paul Heinecke recognized the need to protect European composers who were not being adequately compensated for the performances of their music in the United States. With the encouragement of friends and colleagues, including distinguished musical figures like Victor Herbert, Enrico Caruso, Aaron Copeland and Maurice Ravel, Paul Heinecke founded SESAC.
”Since 1930 SESAC has been devoted to the interests of the creative community and increasing the performances of their copyrights," said Pat Collins, SESAC's President and COO. "We are very proud of what SESAC has accomplished over the past 80 years and we look forward to the future which, through advanced technologies, will bring even greater access to music and will aid in even more timely and accurate royalty payments to copyright owners. Over the coming years while technology continues to transform the delivery mechanisms for entertainment, intellectual property will become more important and further ingrained into the social fabric and SESAC plans to remain front and center of these innovations to provide world class services to intellectual property owners.”
Today SESAC is recognized for its worldwide diversified repertory that includes all musical formats, representing songwriters and publishers for performances in the United States. “Music is the common denominator,” Heinecke said years ago, “….a communications instrument international in scope that knows no language barrier. Man’s creative melodies provide the ideal setting for improved international understanding.”
Since its inception SESAC has established itself as a premier service provider to music creators and music users alike. In the early years of radio, SESAC proved to be a friend to broadcasters by providing transcription libraries for feature and background music to fledgling radio stations, a crucial and ground-breaking development for the nascent radio industry.
In 1992 the company was purchased from the Heinecke family by music executives Stephen C. Swid and Allen & Co., along with Freddie Gershon, and Ira Smith. The acquisition marked the beginning of an exciting new era for SESAC. In 1994, the company signed music icons Bob Dylan and Neil Diamond for worldwide representation, beginning a transformation of SESAC’s repertory that continues today. Currently SESAC boasts the biggest hits in every musical genre including releases by RUSH, Jerry Cantrell, MGMT, Paul Shaffer, Cassandra Wilson, Bryan-Michael Cox, Shirley Caeser, Claudia Brant, Aleks Syntek, Fonseca, Erika Ender, Noel Schajris, Nate "Danja" Hills and Swizz Beatz among many others.
The list of artists who have performed SESAC-affiliated songs include Justin Timberlake, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Reba McEntire, Pussycat Dolls, Nelly Furtado, U2, Christina Aguilera among many others. SESAC also represents songwriters that create the music for many of the most watched television programs and movies displayed all over the world including such composers as Jeff Beal (Monk), Danny Lux (Grey’s Anatomy), Christophe Beck (We Are Marshall), Dennis C. Brown (Two And A Half Men), Jonathan Wolff (Seinfeld), Paul Buckley (Will & Grace), and many others.