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Managers’ association EMMA launches, IMMF responds

The International Music Managers Forum has reacted with surprise to news of a new pan-European association, the European Music Managers Alliance (EMMA)

By Jon Chapple on 12 Apr 2018

EMMA launch: Per Kviman (MMF Sweden), Eivind Brydoy (NEMAA), Ania Kasperek (MMF Poland), Cecilie Torp-Holte (NEMAA), Harris, Coldrick, Virpi Immonen (MMF Finland), Magdalena Jensen (MMF Poland)

L–R: P. Kviman, E. Brydoy, A. Kasperek, C. Torp-Holte, Harris, Coldrick, V. Immonen, M. Jensen

A new pan-European artist managers’ body, the European Music Managers Alliance (EMMA), launched in London last night, bringing managers’ associations in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Poland under one umbrella, in a similar format to the long-established International Music Managers Forum (IMMF).

Chaired by Stevie Wonder manager Keith Harris, EMMA comprises each country’s Music Managers Forum (MMF), along with the Norwegian Entertainment Managers and Agents Association (NEMAA), and will collectively represent more than 800 European managers. With partners MMF Canada, MMF New Zealand and Association of Artist Managers Australia (AAM), the organisation will additionally represent another 600 managers worldwide.

Annabella Coldrick, chief executive of MMF UK, comments: “The UK MMF is committed to thinking beyond Brexit and working even more closely with our European and international manager colleagues to campaign for fairness, transparency and bringing down barriers to music. Our members all represent artists with global businesses. We believe we are stronger and more influential working together to affect change for the better.”

All EMMA member associations are already part of the International Music Managers Forum (IMMF). Sources tell IQ the IMMF was last year the subject of an unsuccessful takeover bid by MMF UK, which is leading the new EMMA initiative.

Responding to the creation of EMMA – which the organisation says it “learned of through a press release” – a spokesperson for IMMF expresses surprise at the move, saying it has always welcomed the contributions of MMF UK.

The spokesperson tells IQ: “We value fairness and transparency. IMMF holds open elections every two years, and we have always encouraged MMF UK to participate. MMF UK left IMMF a few years ago, and only recently came back.”

“We can’t help but note this move is being led from the UK with less than a year to go to Brexit”

IMMF also notes the timing of EMMA’s launch, which follows the recently announced EU-backed Music Moves Europe project, which aims to grow the continent’s music industry.

“We can’t help but note that this move… is being led from the UK with less than a year to go to Brexit,” they continue, “and follows closely behind the first significant achievement of the united European Union music-industry stakeholder dialogues, Music Moves Europe, which should start to increase the funding available for creators [and] European industry organisations post-2020.”

The three main aims of EMMA will be licensing and fair remuneration, public policy, and education and research, which are similar to IMMF’s three stated pillars of lobbying (public policy), training and education, and networking.

Summing up the aims of EMMA, Harris says: “As the business representatives of artists, songwriters and producers, the role of the music manager has assumed ever greater importance in the digital era. […] Going forward, digital services, legislators and other industry partners will have opportunity to connect with the widest range of music managers via a single networked organisation.”

We believe the future is about where tomorrow’s artists are going, and about sharing the opportunity together,” agrees IMMF.


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