ASCAP Launches Program to Drive Innovation Agenda For Next Century of Growth

September 26, 2019

Kicks Off Advanced Research & Innovation Initiative at

NYC Media Lab Summit on September 26

NEW YORK, Sept. 26, 2019 -- ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, the world leader in performing rights and advocacy for music creators, is planning for its next century of dynamic growth with the launch of an innovation initiative to explore how advanced technologies, new business approaches and creative collaborations can drive value for its music creator members and music users. The ASCAP Advanced Research & Innovation Initiative will help to identify and develop new areas of growth and efficiency through a series of initiatives including external participation in technology accelerators, prototyping research projects, cross-pollination with the startup community and knowledge-sharing through a future-forward expert speaker series to inspire ASCAP members and employees.

To kick off the program, ASCAP announces it has partnered with the NYC Media Lab (NYCML), a public/private partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation that connects media and technology companies with New York City’s universities to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and talent development.

ASCAP will launch the Advanced Research & Innovation Initiative at today’s NYCML Summit, where it will lead a workshop, “How Emerging Technology is Changing the Music Industry” at New York City College of Technology (CUNY) in Brooklyn. As part of the NYCML partnership, ASCAP will conduct primary R&D in collaboration with a faculty-led research team on ways to better serve ASCAP members by leveraging applied technologies in areas such as machine intelligence, extended reality and other emerging disciplines. The music organization will also take part in NYCML’s Combine Startup Accelerator, which helps NYC’s university ecosystem extend and commercialize new technologies.

Other components of the program will include a bi-monthly speaker series that will feature motivating and educational speakers on a broad range of innovation topics held at ASCAP offices in New York City, Los Angeles and Nashville. These inspiring talks will include sessions with industry and creative experts such as Daniel Belquer, Co-Founder and Chief Technologist of Music: Not Impossible, which is a wearable technology inspired by the deaf community that translates sound onto the skin through vibration to provide all users a unique and nuanced music experience.

The initial phase also calls for ASCAP to host “Music Startup Summits” together with selected VC and investment firms to explore specific applied technologies and how they might be used in ASCAP’s business in the future.

“To realize our future, we are broadening our lens to envision it. With the Advanced Research & Innovation Initiative, we are looking further into the technology horizon to seek out what may be possible to super-serve and support our songwriter and publisher communities for years to come,” said Nick Lehman, ASCAP Chief Strategy & Digital Officer. “We are pursuing this program as a deliberate way to provide a funnel for the deep passion that ASCAP employees already bring to their work, in order to harness innovation that matters to our members. By exploring new technology, talent, business approaches, and partnerships, we can create new value as ASCAP evolves into the next century.” 

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP's mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world's best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business - from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With more than 825,000 members representing more than 16 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. Learn more and stay in touch at, on Twitter and Instagram @ASCAP and on Facebook.

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Cathy Halgas Nevins, ASCAP