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Interstellar Music Services launches new rights management venture to champion and support artists and songwriters

Kobalt's David Wille and BMG's Sarah Bargiela join cofounders Andy Robinson and Sean Stockdale on senior leadership team



Interstellar Music Services ("Interstellar"), established to offer a new and tailored approach to rights management to generate more royalties for artists and songwriters at a pivotal point in their career, has launched with the appointment of two high profile additions to its senior leadership team.

Driven by transparency, fairness, and a passion for music alongside a firm creator-centric vision, the Company's forensic and analytical methods, underpinned by its technological infrastructure, global network of partners and extensive industry know-how, will combine the flexibility and value of DIY creator services with the administrative support and access of a label and publisher, with a view to ensuring artists and songwriters see greater returns from their music.

The hands-on and bespoke service will primarily be made available to those qualifying artists and songwriters who wish to retain full control of their recordings and compositions. Interstellar will work to maximise the collection of all the royalties due to them through a suite of services including digital distribution, sync and brand partnerships, metadata cleaning, neighbouring rights, publishing administration, DSP repitching and detailed analysis and reporting.

Cofounded by established artist manager Andy Robinson and experienced cross asset speculator Sean Stockdale, Interstellar is already attracting the attention of industry power players. Joining the team at launch are former Kobalt Music Publishing SVP David Wille, who takes up the role of Global Head of Sync and Brand Partnerships, and Sarah Bargiela who joins from BMG Rights Management to take up the role of Head of Copyright and Royalties.

Andy Robinson, cofounder and CEO said: "Through my time in the industry, particularly as an artist manager, I have seen first hand how complicated it is for artists and their teams to ensure that their music is correctly registered and that they are benefitting from the value of their creations through the right licensing opportunities. It should not be so burdensome. Changing industry dynamics now mean that artists – rightly - have more choice and autonomy over how they can release and manage their music. We want to support this by providing a professional music rights management service that enables them to maximise the value of their creations without the need to relinquish any ownership of their work.

"Our mission, which is focused on putting the artists and songwriters first, is fundamental to the way we operate; to have industry professionals of the calibre of Sarah and David joining us at such an early stage is a real endorsement of the culture and service offering we have developed."

Andy Robinson has over 15 years of music industry experience, covering music marketing and strategy, music publishing, rights management, and artist and label services. Starting his career as an artist manager, he previously founded Interstellar Music and Interstellar Publishing, which have informed the development of Interstellar Music Services.

Sean Stockdale has 13 years of expertise in asset management, with a successful track record in sourcing and unlocking hidden value from a variety of alternative assets across a range of industries. His experience in international financial markets has seen him innovate to diversify risk, allocate funds and balance portfolios; he is also an expert in sabermetrics, all of which he will apply to the new venture. The cofounders' unique combination of skills and experience enables Interstellar to provide a differentiated, nimble and flexible offer to rightsholders and creators.

Sean Stockdale, cofounder and COO added: "Coming from outside the industry has given me a unique perspective on the challenges that exist in how music is valued and compensated.  Not only are artists all individuals, so are the songs that they create; every copyright has different requirements and should be treated as such.

"As an asset manager, it is my role to optimise the opportunities for the music we have the honour of representing, rather than simply telling artists to make more, try harder or change their process. The opportunities for music are vast and I believe it is time to work more proactively and to think creatively about how to place music on behalf of clients. The creators do their bit, then it is up to us to find the opportunities for their music, whatever their individual sound may be. That is the mission for Interstellar."

Commenting on the new offer from Interstellar, Mario Lopez, Founder and Artist Manager at Los Angeles based ML Artists, said: "It is the job of an artist manager to do all that we can to support our artists, which includes ensuring that the right team and tools are in place to help maximise their success. Interstellar offers a professional service, focused foremost on the creator and led by an experienced team that understands the complex digital rights landscape. Their approach to rights management feels unique and, working alongside our team, Interstellar provides an invaluable service to our artists, allowing them the freedom to focus on doing what they love most - making music."

New appointment David Wille joins Interstellar with more than 30 years of industry experience, having worked across major and indie record labels, music publishers, advertising agencies, global brands and tech start-ups. He brings extensive experience in frontline marketing and promotions, as well as a deep network of cross industry relationships. He was latterly Senior Vice President, Sync and Brand Partnerships UK & EMEA at Kobalt Music Publishing, where he spent five years building an award-winning sync team. David has held senior positions at Warner Music, Atlantic and London Records as well as founding and building the sync and brand agency One Tree Music.

Sarah Bargiela joins Interstellar from BMG Rights Management, where she spent five years as Senior Income Tracking Manager, specialising in sub-publishing. There she managed a global portfolio of rights, tracking, identifying and addressing revenue opportunities and inconsistencies through data manipulation. Prior to BMG, Sarah held various senior international roles at PRS for Music during a 10 year stint with the organisation. This included the position of International Territory Manager, where she developed and oversaw relationships with other CMOs globally, managed revenue growth and dataflows from societies and built an expansive network of contacts.

David Wille, Global Head of Sync and Brand Partnerships said: "Andy and Sean have a clear vision of what they want to achieve with Interstellar and the focus on mission and culture is what ultimately motivated me to join. In today's ecosystem, artists, songwriters and rightsholders are working hard to service a new set of demands and expectations, but there are also many opportunities that are overlooked; music is not bound by borders, and neither will we be. I am driven by the opportunities that are out there to support songwriters and artists and I want to use the knowledge and networks that I have built over many years to ultimately support the value of their creations."

Sarah Bargiela, Head of Copyright and Royalties, added: "For me the attraction of Interstellar, which is taking a success focused and forensic approach to metadata analysis and licensing, is the boutique element whereby the team is motivated to explore every opportunity and every overlooked data source and income stream that artists can access. The strategy of combining technology and human resources to leverage tech and augment experienced individuals rather than replace them, ensures that all bases are covered and no opportunities are overlooked. I am looking forward to working with a team that understands the value of metadata and the need to remain agile in a fast-evolving industry. Our aim is to build something special at Interstellar."

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