SESAC and ASCAP released official statements concerning Discovery Networks' direct licensing plan.
SESAC stated :
SESAC stands with songwriters and composers who make unique and irreplaceable contributions to film and television. They deserve to be paid fairly for their work. Discovery’s threat to their livelihood undermines the very fabric of the creative community.
The right music sets the emotional tone for a movie or show. It drives the story forward as an essential piece of the overall creative vision. Getting it right requires incredible dedication and craft. Something no consultant-driven, paint-by-numbers fallback plan can do.
We urge Discovery to keep faith with its viewers and the quality they expect and reconsider this short-sighted, penny-wise, pound foolish approach.
ASCAP released a statement later in the evening, adding :
Back end royalties for composers who write for TV, cable and streaming shows are critical to their being able to sustain a livelihood. ASCAP is very alarmed by the reports of Discovery Networks new policy toward composers which would have a devastating impact on their royalty streams and make it near impossible for them to make a living from their creative work. Composers should have agency and choice when it comes to licensing the music they create, but an ultimatum is not a choice. Composers are an important part of the creative teams that make a show successful and it is disappointing that Discovery would not recognize the true value their work brings to their shows.
We hope Discovery Networks will do the right thing and reconsider their position against composers.
Stay tuned to www.productionmusicnews.com for updates.