London, 22 February 2023: ClicknClear (the “Company”), the award-winning music tech company that specializes in simplifying access to officially licensed music for performance sports and fitness, has signed a groundbreaking agreement with the National Federation of State High School Associations (“NFHS”), a leading performance sports organization in the U.S.A.
The deal highlights ClicknClear’s rapid traction in its mission to deliver simple access to the music licenses needed by choreographed sports, and unlock an untapped music licensing revenue stream in a market that the Company estimates to be worth an additional 10% of the worldwide recorded music annual revenue to its partner music rightsholders.
Performance sports include gymnastics, dance, cheerleading, figure skating, marching band, and show choir, where music is an important part of the routines. They have an avid following, with approximately 100 million young people (12 to 24 years old) worldwide participating each year. Grassroots participants and elite athletes respectively act as tastemakers within their social circles and can have substantial fanbases.
The NFHS promotes amateur sports participation throughout its 51 member state associations (including Washington D.C.), serving 19,500 high schools and 12 million young people across the country. It administers high school athletics / activities and establishes the regulations for the sanctioning of events.
ClicknClear and NFHS have signed a multi-year agreement for the licensing of ClicknClear’s music industry partners’ catalogs to NFHS’s performance sports participants, as well as the use of ClicknClear’s License Verification System (“LVS”) to help enforce such licensing.
The Company operates a B2B style business model with sports, whereby the sports organizations enforce the use of licensed music from ClicknClear’s rightsholders in their activities, allowing athletes to edit and adapt existing songs into a music mix with voiceovers, sound effects and beats; choreograph a routine to the mix; make copies for training and preparation; and perform the routine in public with the mix.
Competition organizers are able to use ClicknClear’s LVS to help manage music licenses at their events, protecting themselves from copyright infringement and empowering them to live stream competitions and build video on demand (“VOD”) services.
ClicknClear has rights to a growing music catalog, which currently comprises five million tracks and more than 15 million publishing rights from over 900 labels and publishers, including Sony Music, Warner Music, Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG, Kobalt, Concord and Downtown, as well as hundreds of other independents. This ensures its sports and fitness partners have access to the wide selection of music genres they require, including specialist and regional music worldwide.
The announcement is made amidst ongoing legal actions by the music industry against such sports, such as a lawsuit alleging infringement of music copyright by Team USA at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
The NFHS's View
Dr James Weaver, Director of Performing Arts and Sports, NFHS said:
“Music is integral to many of the activities in which the 12 million students of our member states participate. Copyright compliance is important for the continuation of new and exciting works, and educating users is the best way to knowing compliance obligations.
“By working with ClicknClear and its music industry partners we are now able to easily access both recorded music, for cheer, dance and gymnastics, and publishing-only licenses for marching band and show choir.
“To help ensure we are doing the right thing for musicians and the music industry and to reduce risk, we are also adopting ClicknClear’s License Verification System. This is a powerful and essential tool that allows us, and any other performance sports organizations using music, to manage the huge number of music licenses that high schools need to participate in these much-loved sports.”
The Music Industry's View
Loredana Cacciotti, Downtown Music Holdings SVP, Digital Licensing & Business Affairs said:
"Downtown is happy to be partnering with ClicknClear to ensure the global performance sports market is able to fully license their music usage, unlocking untapped revenue streams for songwriters. Their technology will also enable them to provide Downtown with precise data, to streamline our reporting to our clients. As music has long been essential to sports performance and broadcast, it's long overdue that these talented individuals can access a simple and comprehensive mechanism for licensing it and remunerating rightsholders."
ClicknClear’s founder and CEO, Chantal Epp, said:
"Music is intrinsic to routines within choreographed performance sports, yet the complexities around licensing this market have led to lost revenue for rightsholders worldwide, amounting to 10% of the global recorded music industry’s annual revenue.
“ClicknClear’s tech-led approach unlocks significant revenue streams for the music industry by working with sports organizations to educate their communities and offer a large pool of music for instant license with all the necessary rights, plus the tools to help competitors and the organizations responsible for them manage their licensing. This agreement with NFHS is a prime example of how we are ensuring that rightsholders and music creators are properly rewarded for the use of their music in an incremental new market.
“As the only legitimate music licensing solution for performance sports, our expanding catalog of music and our ongoing tech developments will secure our strong deal pipeline. We are adding to our existing sports relationships, and will continue to drive licensing enforcement for our music rightsholders throughout the market.”